Liverpool defensive crisis eased by Joel Matip return to full training

Liverpool suffer huge pre-Brighton injury blow

Joel Matip is back in training as of Thursday afternoon and while Jurgen Klopp refused to admit he is in contention to face Brighton, he didn't rule it out either.

Sources told ESPN FC on Thursday that Liverpool have no plans to recruit a defender in January because of a long-held belief that Fabinho can operate adequately in the position.

The Reds were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves on Monday, losing 2-1 after Klopp started youngsters Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones in a much-changed XI.

'Joel trained yesterday for the first time with the team. We'll see what that means exactly.

"Hendo [Jordan Henderson] will train today". Adam [Lallana] out, Dejan out, Joe [Gomez] out.

"I don't know [when Lovren is back]".

'I'm not sure, but we'll have to see'.

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'If Fabinho has to play as a centre-half what we want is the natural understanding of the game, ' he said.

"You have helpful players around, one player usually can't decide a game - up front it happens from time to time - but in defence you need the boys around you".

"I think he has also slightly restricted his options, because he hasn't been able to blood these players so they are more familiar and able to come into a game like this". "But we try not to make it more complicated than it is", Klopp added.

Asked whether that would give Liverpool an advantage over their rivals, Klopp said that depended on how well they made use of the extra preparation time.

"If you have the full squad together it's massive, it's really good", he said of the lighter schedule.

He told The Argus: "Sometimes you gauge how good the top are by how numerous bottom ten are going to get results against the top six teams".

"It's my preferred rhythm".

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