The potential return of Joel Matip will be a “massive” for Liverpool ahead of their top of the table clash with Manchester United, according to Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker insisted it is vital for Jurgen Klopp that his senior defenders return against United’s quick front line.
Matip returned to full training at the club’s Kirkby headquarters on Friday evening after recovering from an adductor injury he picked up against West Brom at the end of last month.
All the photos from tonight's session, as the Reds prepare for #LIVMUN 📸
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 15, 2021
Klopp has said he will give the 29-year-old every chance to be fit for the visit of the league leaders on Sunday.
The German has opted to line up with midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho at the heart of his defence in their last Premier League game with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees.
They lost that game 1-0 to Southampton and teenager Rhys Williams returned to the starting XI for their FA Cup third-round tie against Aston Villa’s youngsters but was beaten for pace as Louie Barry grabbed his side an unexpected equaliser.
Asked by Football Insider what it means for Liverpool to have Matip back against United after the training ground update, Agbonlahor said: “It will be massive.
“It’s a massive, massive game against Manchester United where you need your strongest defenders against a quick Manchester United front line.
“It’s an important game where Matip can make a difference.
“If any of their senior defenders can come back then it will be a major plus for Liverpool.”
Matip has played eight times in the Premier League this season and is yet to be on the losing side.
In the seven games he has started, the Reds have kept three clean sheets and conceded five goals.