Klavan and Klopp.

Liverpool's Klavan not included in squad vs Spurs to to new injury

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New summer signing Joel Matip was handed his first ever Premier League start today for Liverpool's Saturday afternoon game against Tottenham.

And it is fortunate for Jurgen Klopp that the Cameroon international has had a solid game so far, because Liverpool opted not to put any central defensive cover on the bench for their trip to White Hart Lane. 

Unsurprising, the move raised a few eyebrows amongst some Liverpool fans who wondered where Ragnar Klavan - a full participant in the team's first two Premier League fixtures - was. Now a tweet from Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce has explained his absence.


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According to Pearce, Klavan was unable to take his place in the squad after picking up a slight knee injury this week that had previously been unreported.

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Because of the injury, and Klopp's continued policy of not selecting Mamadou Sakho, the only potential cover at centreback Klopp has at his disposal this afternoon should either starter (Matip or Dejan Lovren) go down injured or be sent off is Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva.

Leiva, of course, only returned from his own long-term injury last night when he played 45 minutes for Liverpool's under 23 side against Arsenal.

Liverpool Training Session - UEFA Europa League Final

With the score currently at 1-1 at White Hart Lane, Liverpool have now conceded six goals in just three games to begin the Premier League season.

Defensive frailties

As they look to find a settled centreback partnership, they will be hoping that Klavan's knee injury doesn't prove too serious.

The Merseyside club have tough fixtures ahead over the next couple of weeks as they face defending champions Leicester City on September 10, before travelling to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea on September 16.

The international break, then, could come at the perfect time as it should allow Klavan to recover fully from what is at this stage being described only as a "minor knee injury".

International Champions Cup: Liverpool v Barcelona

Then again, if Joel Matip can see out the remainder of the game against Spurs - currently 1-1 with 15 minutes to play at time of writing - without major incident, then he would certainly make a case to take Klavan's place on a regular basis.

Still, Klopp would probably like the option of a central defender on his bench if he had the choice.

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Steven Gerrard
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Daniel Sturridge
Philippe Coutinho

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