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Liverpool Recieve Timely Good News On The Injury Front

BURTON UPON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: Calum Butcher of Burton Albion is challenged by Joel Matip of Liverpool during the EFL Cup second round match between Burton Albion and Liverpool at Pirelli Stadium on August 23, 2016 in Burton upon Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After what turned out to be a disastrous trip to Bournemouth last weekend, Liverpool appear set to right the ship this week at home to slumping West Ham as defender Joel Matip is expected to return to the line-up.

The 25 year-old Cameroonian was badly missed in the second half at the Vitality Stadium as the Reds frittered away a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3.

Since joining from Schalke in the summer, Matip has impressed. The statistics bear out the school of thought that he is already one of Jurgen Klopp’s key men as they have only conceded two goals or more once with him in the side as well as being unbeaten in that span.

While the injury to Philippe Coutinho rightfully caused a great deal of nervousness amongst the Anfield faithful, Sunday’s result may have been more down to the less heralded Matip’s absence.

After all, it wasn’t a lack of goals that did them in but rather a chaotic rear-guard performance, most notably from new goalkeeper Lorius Karius.

However, with a relatively easy stretch of games on the slate over the next five weeks Liverpool fans can justifiably hope that this result will prove to be something of an aberration rather than the start of a worrying trend.

After facing off against Slaven Bilic’s men this Sunday, Liverpool’s upcoming opponents are comprised of Middlesbrough (A), Stoke City (H), Everton (A), Man City (H) and Sunderland (A).

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool reacts during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on November 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

While obviously the clash with Manchester City (and no Liverpool fans, sadly Sergio Aguero’s suspension will be over by then) will be tough, the rest of those games each represent very winnable opportunities for Klopp’s unit to keep tabs on league leaders Chelsea until the expected return of their talismanic Brazilian Coutinho around New Years’ day.

Though some may decry the notion of writing off the challenge of Everton in the Merseyside derby as dangerous, Ronald Koeman’s men currently have far greater problems than Liverpool having only recorded one win in their last ten outings in all competitions.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Loris Karius of Liverpool dives in vaine as as Steve Cook of AFC Bournemouth (C) scores their third goal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool at Vitality Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Bournemouth, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

So long as Loris Karius doesn’t make a habit of spilling straightforward shots right into the waiting feet of opposition players, Liverpool’s title challenge should be able to ride the relative storm of having to play without their best player for the next few weeks.

Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.