Reliable Liverpool journalist: This is why Lovren not in team to face Watford

By Alex Stevens

Dejan Lovren has been omitted from the Liverpool team to face Watford on Sunday due to a virus, according to a reliable journalist.

Jurgen Klopp has been forced to split up the impressive centre-back partnership of Lovren and summer signing Joel Matip for the Premier League clash at Anfield.

Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce revealed on his personal Twitter account that the Croatia international is absent due to illness. He is replaced in the starting XI by Lucas Leiva.

Klopp has made one other change to the team that beat Crystal Palace 4-2 last weekend, with fit-again James Milner replacing Alberto Moreno.

Lovren has started eight of Liverpool’s 10 league matches this season and chipped in with two goals, against Chelsea and then Palace last weekend.

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He was guilty of errors that led to each of the Palace goals last weekend, including a mishit backpass for James McCarthy’s first strike.

In other Liverpool team news, the club are in advanced talks to seal a deal with a 22-year-old ahead of the January transfer window.