Fabinho walking suspension tightrope for Liverpool ahead of Villa clash
Midfielder has been booked four times.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he has a selection dilemma over key midfielder Fabinho.
The Brazil international is one booking away from a one-match ban so if he was to be yellow-carded at Aston Villa on Saturday he would miss the crunch clash with title rivals Manchester City at Anfield on November 10.
Fabinho has established himself as Klopp’s first-choice midfielder and has started all-but-one of Liverpool’s 13 Premier League and Champions League matches.
He has yet to lose any of the 30 league games he has started since arriving from Monaco for £43.7million in the summer of 2018 but Klopp has to consider whether to protect him at Villa Park.
“I don’t know yet. We have to see. I know it (the potential suspension), of course. What we do with that I don’t know,” he said.
Asked what instructions he would give the player should he play the German joked: “No challenges at all!
“That’s not possible against Aston Villa, playing without challenges, especially in that position. You cannot ask for this.
“The player knows it, I know it. Is there any game where you think that’s a good game to get a fifth yellow card?
“Maybe other teams are pretty smart in that and take them, I don’t know, I never did it.
“We have to deal with. Maybe he has to deal with it on the pitch or I have to deal with it with the line-up. We didn’t make a final decision yet, so we will see.”
Klopp could be without midfielder Naby Keita, who came off with a knock in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Arsenal, but defender Joel Matip is definitely absent.
The centre-back has missed the last three matches with the recurrence of a knee problem and is still some way from fitness.
“Naby I don’t know yet, we will see,” added Klopp.
“Joel is not available for the next few weeks.
“What could that mean? A couple is two, right? So a few is more than three.”