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Liverpool's Joel Matip running out of time to prove fitness for Man Utd clash

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Joel Matip is running out of time to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday’s table-topping clash with Manchester United.

The German boss though, will still be desperately hoping Matip can train this week in a full squad session, and save him the headache of another central defensive puzzle.



Skipper Jordan Henderson performed the role at Southampton, but Klopp desperately needs his energy and leadership in the middle of park against Liverpool’s bitter rivals.



That leaves him little time to prove his fitness, and with games coming thick and fast after the United game at Anfield - with an intense period where they will effectively play every three days - then the Reds boss may decide not to risk his key central defender.



Matip is back running and working with a ball on grass, but he has yet to train with the first-team squad, and Klopp would need to see him train for two sessions with his team-mates, and come through with no reaction, to be ready.

It is understood the Liverpool centre half has progressed to training in specially-prepared sessions with the physios, as he returns following an adductor injury sustained against West Brom on December 27.

And if he chooses to restore Henderson to the midfield then either 19 year old Rhys Williams, or the slightly more experienced Nat Phillips could play at the back.
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