Jurgen Klopp’s young centre-backs have got what it takes to dazzle against Manchester United if Joel Matip is not ready to start for Liverpool.
That is according to former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs ahead of this weekend’s top of the table clash.
Speaking during Friday’s press conference, Klopp revealed that Liverpool are still assessing Matip’s injury status ahead of the crucial game at Anfield.
Liverpool have had a torrid time with injuries to their defenders this season and midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both featured at the heart of the defence against Southampton.
If Matip is not fit to face the Red Devils, young defenders Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips could be chosen to start.
Phillips believes that both players will have no fear if they are selected to start aginst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side despite the importance of the game.
“It would be a definite blow [to lose Matip] but the lads who have come in, Williams and Phillips, have proved that they can do a job, he told Football Insider.
“Yes, they will want Matip fit but these young lads do not have any fear when there is no crowd there. These players actually rise to the challenge.
“Klopp would not play them if he did not think they could handle the pressure. It is going to be a cracking game.
“Solskjaer has turned that side around. They are top of the Premier League and a few months ago people were calling for his head. He’s done a wonderful job.
“It is not ideal for Liverpool and it will be a tight match. Whoever plays at the back though, everyone has shown that they can handle the big occasions. It would not surprise me if they put in a good performance, whoever plays.”
Liverpool are still well in the hunt for the title despite losing both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the majority of the season.
This weekend’s game could turn the tide in the title race and all eyes will be on Anfield to see who Klopp starts at the back.