By Harvey Byrne
Joel Matip has been left out of the 18-man Liverpool matchday squad to face Middlesbrough on Wednedsay – and Reds fans on Twitter are worried.
The 25-year-old travelled with the squad to the north east, but he has been ruled out due to a foot/ankle problem, according to Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce.
Joel Matip travelled with the #LFC squad but has been ruled out due to a foot/ankle issue
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) December 14, 2016
The forced change has led to Jurgen Klopp opting for a centre-back pairing of Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan ahead of returning goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Matip is considered the rock of a weak back line by many supporters and fans on social media are now worried about heading into the Riverside clash without their star defender.
Here are a selection of their messages on Twitter:
No Matip tonight makes me wanna cry ngl such a rock #lfc
— DANIELFC (@KloppToGlory) December 14, 2016
No matip again tonight…how frustrating!! #LFC
— RJW (@wiggzst) December 14, 2016
— Colin Shortall (@Colshort66Colin) December 14, 2016
No Matip. No attacking options off the bench. January signings are a must… #LFC
— Rieny (@Rienerth9) December 14, 2016
Glad to see Migs given a chance. Sad to see no Matip. #LFC
— Man In Red (@ManInRed96) December 14, 2016
— Quan (@QuanWalker) December 14, 2016
I'm really not hopeful about tonight! Mignolet for Karius, Klaven for Matip, doesn't fill be with confidence. Whose on the bench #LFC
— G Dog (@GHL72) December 14, 2016
Matip being fully rested for Monday is a slight worry in terms of defensive frailties #LFC
— LFC ? Grumpy Frog? (@Longblonde88) December 14, 2016
Matip has played in 14 fixtures for Liverpool since joining on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer.
His omission will come as a huge loss to a Reds defence which has conceded 20 goals from their 15 league matches.
His replacement Klavan also joined in the summer from Bundeslgia outfit Augsburg in a £4.2million move.
However, he has not had the same affect as Matip, playing in just eight fixtures in all competitions.
The Estonia international will now be hoping to put in a solid performance with second place up for grabs after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Everton on Tuesday.
In other Liverpool news, this is why Jurgen Klopp has made the biggest decision of his Liverpool career.