Liverpool are once again set to be without Nathaniel Phillips for their clash against Manchester United this weekend.
The Reds centre-back has been ruled out for each of the last two Premier League matches with a hamstring problem and does not look set to return for Sunday’s clash. Ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, Jurgen Klopp suggested that all of the team’s injury problems are “all the same”, which suggests that Phillips is still continuing his recovery.
The news will be a sickener for Klopp and the team, with the 24-year-old having become one their main options at centre-back in the respective absences of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson this season.
Indeed, Phillips has appeared on 15 occasions in all competitions so far this season, with Liverpool having only lost on four occasions when he has taken to the pitch thus far. Meanwhile, the Reds have not won a Premier League game in which he hasn’t appeared since the 7-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace back in mid-December.
However, in his absence, Fabinho will once again be required to step into the backline – a selection which has not yielded positive results recently. In the two Premier League matches that Phillips has missed since picking up his injury, Liverpool have been held to frustrating 1-1 draws by both Leeds and Newcastle.
Heading to Old Trafford in what is a key game for the Reds’ aspirations of finishing in the top four, Klopp would certainly have wanted to name the £65,000-per-week Phillips in the backline and move Fabinho back to his natural position in the middle of the park.
However, that does not seem like a possibility now with the Englishman continuing his stint on the sidelines.