Joel Matip’s Liverpool absence explained with latest defender missing from squad

Joel Matip has been left out of the Liverpool squad for today’s Premier League clash with Brighton.

The centre-half needs to be relied upon to stay fit over the Christmas period with Liverpool’s current injury crisis.

Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are out long-term, and Trent Alexander-Arnold is also sidelined at present.

It means three of Jurgen Klopp’s four first-choice stars from his backline are unavailable right now.

And the Reds manager is taking no chances when it comes to the fitness of Matip.

The 29-year-old played on Wednesday in Liverpool’s 2-0 Champions League defeat at home to Atalanta.

He came off after 84 minutes for winger Takumi Minamino, who starts today on the south coast.

And according to the Liverpool Echo , Matip has been left out with Klopp managing his minutes carefully.

He has been rested completely today at the Amex Stadium after starting two games inside four days earlier this week.

Liverpool beat Leicester at Anfield on Sunday, and Matip’s injury record means he cannot constantly play.

Instead, versatile midfielder Fabinho is partnered by 23-year-old Nathaniel Phillips.

Young Neco Williams starts at right-back, while Andy Robertson plays at left-back thankfully for Liverpool.

The Reds will have an eye on Tuesday’s visit from Ajax in the Champions League.

They then play next Sunday evening at home to Wolves in the Premier League.

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