Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gives Joel Matip injury update and Bruno Fernandes verdict

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted Joel Matip is ‘close’ to being fit for the showdown with Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday. The Reds are currently in the midst of an injury crisis in defence but could be boosted by the centre-back’s return.

Liverpool lost to Southampton in the Premier League last time out with Jordan Henderson playing as a makeshift defender.

Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also had opportunities with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk out for the long-term.

He said: “Joel is close but does it make sense now to throw him in with one or two sessions he didn’t do yet?

“Today or tomorrow we haven’t done yet. We have to see. It’s not decided yet – why should we?”

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Klopp has also hailed the impact of Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United with Liverpool’s arch-rivals sitting top of the Premier League.

The Portuguese has transformed the Red Devils into potential title contenders this season.

Klopp explained: “Outstanding player. We played Sporting in USA and that game you could see, wow.

“A difference maker and that is what he shows now. An influential player now.

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“Goal involvements important but he is the link-up player and is a leader too. A good signing for Utd.”

Klopp has also praised Marcus Rashford for his ongoing work in helping to lower child poverty.

He said: “I said it before, exceptional. He has some honours, absolutely right.

“A little shame he has to do this work. He has done it because he had the same situation when he was a kid.

“Just great to see him never forgetting his roots. Exceptional.”

Klopp also hit back at Mark Clattenburg’s comments saying he was playing mind games by pointing out how many penalties United had won compared to Liverpool.

He said: “I 100% never mention something like [trying to win pens]. It has never happened.

“Am I surprised someone is talking about what I have said? Clattenburg? No.

“It’s nice we can talk about him. I am not Sir Alex for different reasons.”

Liverpool host arch-rivals United on Sunday at 4.30pm in a top of the table clash.

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