Jurgen Klopp says Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have made “big steps” in recent days, and the duo could be in line for Liverpool debuts during the club’s weekend clash with Leicester City.
The two signed for the Reds just before the transfer window set, giving Klopp a few more options on his backline amid an injury crisis.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all out with long-term injuries, while Fabinho will also miss out this weekend against Leicester.
What did Klopp say?
“They have really thrown themselves into everything that is ahead of them, which is what a defender should do,” Klopp said. “Both Ben and Ozan are calm people, willing to learn and have a great attitude. They are making big steps in adapting to the way we play. Again, that’s important.
.“We have still a clear way to defend, which is important. If both of them would be on the pitch then there are still nine players used to what we have done before. If two players do something completely differently then that would lead to a strange situation. It’s all good so far. Now we have to make a decision.
“We have to change again because of Fab, and now we will see which solution we will take.”
Who else could start against Leicester?
Should Klopp opt against using Kabak or Davies against Leicester on Saturday, he does have other options to turn to.
Jordan Henderson has deputised in defence in recent weeks as Klopp has used 12 different central defensive partnerships in the Premier League this season.
Among the other options are youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, whom have stepped in several times this season due to the Reds’ injury issues.
What’s at stake for Liverpool?
Heading into Saturday’s clash with Leicester, Liverpool currently sit fourth in the Premier League.
The Reds recently suffered a 4-1 defeat against Manchester City, headlined by several blunders from the normally-steady Alisson.
As a result, there’s just a one-point gap between last season’s champions and fifth-place Chelsea, while Leicester currently sits three points ahead of Liverpool in the table.
Due to the Reds’ recent struggles, there is a fear that they could slip out of the Champions League altogether.
They’re still in this season’s competition, though, as they look ahead to a clash with RB Leipzig, which will be held in Budapest due to Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.