A look at Liverpool’s defensive crisis after Fabinho’s injury

The Brazilian faces tests to determine the extent of the problem.

By Press Association Published: 28 October 2020 - 8.30am
Football Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp’s defensive crisis increased after Fabinho limped out of Tuesday night’s Champions League match against FC Midtjylland at Anfield.

Tests are set to reveal the extent of Fabinho’s injury but it will almost certainly leave Klopp with Joe Gomez as the only senior centre-back for this weekend’s Premier League clash with West Ham.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at the issues facing Liverpool’s established names – and the potential solutions.

Fabinho

Fabinho
Tests will reveal the extent of Fabinho’s hamstring tear (Michael Regan/PA)

The Brazilian reverted to centre-back in place of the injured Virgil Van Dijk but now faces a spell on the sidelines himself. Tests this week are set to indicate the extent of Fabinho’s hamstring tear – and whether he faces a matter of days or more than a month on the sidelines.

Virgil Van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk faces at least six months on the sidelines (Peter Byrne/PA)

Van Dijk is expected to be ruled out for at least six months after sustaining a serious ACL injury in a tackle by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby earlier this month. However, the club have not put a precise timescale on the influential Van Dijk’s return to action.

Joel Matip

Joel Matip
Joel Matip has been injury-prone since his arrival at Anfield (Peter Powell/PA)

Matip is currently sidelined with a muscle injury he also sustained in the Everton game, but he is not expected to be out for long. However, the German defender has been plagued by injuries during his time at Anfield, and his appearance at Goodison Park represented his first full 90 minutes in over a year.

Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams
Rhys Williams has already gained Champions League experience (Peter Powell/PA)

The 19-year-old Williams stepped in to join Gomez at centre-back following Fabinho’s injury against the Danish champions. Williams is top of the list to step in on Saturday but it would represent a remarkable career change having spent last season on loan at Kidderminster Harriers.

Nat Phillips

Nat Phillips
Nat Phillips gained valuable experience on loan in Germany (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Phillips was interesting a number of Championship clubs at the conclusion of the transfer window last week and Klopp will be relieved that the club decided to keep him on. Phillips gained experience playing on loan for Bundesliga 2 club Stuttgart during last season.

Sepp Van Den Berg

Sepp van den Berg
Sepp van den Berg is another highly-rated Anfield youngster (Martin Rickett/PA)

Van Den Berg is another highly-rated young player who has been given the chance to build experience elsewhere, having featured prominently in the Dutch Eredivisie with PEC Zwolle. Van Den Berg was also a regular feature of Liverpool’s sides in the FA and Carabao Cups last season.