Fabinho is set to start in defence for Liverpool against Bayern Munich

Liverpool FC v Leicester City - Premier League

Liverpool will have to get by without Virgil van Dijk when they host Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The centre-back, arguably Liverpool’s best player this season, is suspended for the round of 16 first leg clash after picking up three yellow cards in the ground stage.

It’s a major blow given how influential Van Dijk has been this season.

But Alisson Becker is confident that Liverpool can cope without the Netherlands international.

“All the defenders have played so when one comes in and one leaves, we don’t feel that loss because we’re all used to each other,” the goalkeeper said, per the Liverpool Echo.

“That the backline are all able to communicate with each other, and know each other really well, is vital for any team.”

Liverpool are facing a defensive crisis, with Joe Gomez out injured and Dejan Lovren unlikely to have recovered from a hamstring problem in time.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Third Round

Liverpool's plan at centre-back v Bayern

It’s led to suggestions that Jordan Henderson could play alongside Joel Matip, the only recognised centre-back available, at the heart of defence.

But according to the Mirror, Fabinho will partner the Cameroon defender against the Bundesliga club.

Lovren has lost his battle to be fit in time for the match. His injury has improved but not to the point that Jurgen Klopp is ready to consider starting him.

The Croatian could be named on the bench given Liverpool's defensive problems, though. Under-23 defender Nat Phillips is still undergoing rehab for an ankle injury but the highly-rated 17-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever is likely to be a substitute. 

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Henderson is likely to start in midfield.

Fabinho has experience playing at centre-back; he was superb alongside Van Dijk in the 1-0 victory against Brighton last month.

Yet Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski will probably be licking his lips at the prospect of coming up against the Brazilian and Matip.

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Klopp will be looking for Alisson to step up and help the makeshift partnership.

Liverpool’s number one is aware of the challenge that Bayern present.

“We know they’re a really good, strong team,” he added.

“Jurgen knows more about that team than anyone. There’s a lot of quality - and a great defence.”

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