Belfast Telegraph

Injury blow for Liverpool ahead of Premiership opener as defender in line for potential debut

Nat Phillips could make his Liverpool debut in Sunday's Premier League tie against West Ham at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp revealed on Friday morning that Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan are both out of the weekend's game while fellow centre-halves Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will be assessed at Melwood.

Phillips, 21, played alongside Virgil Van Dijk in Tuesday's friendly victory over Torino at Anfield. After an impressive pre-season, the Bolton-born defender could now make his competitive debut.

"Dejan will not be available for the weekend, that's how it is," said Klopp. "We will see, we have no big issues but little things.

"We ask if it is a risk - and if it is a risk, do we take it? At the end, I'm pretty sure we have a fantastic football team on the pitch and hopefully I have to make a few decisions. It looks like a few players are not involved but that's how it is.

"Ragnar has no real chance, Joel did parts of training like Joe did, we will see how they are today."

Liverpool's England duo Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold only returned to training this week, alongside Lovren, but are pushing for a start.

“Trent has had longer, which is good," he said. "Hendo is full of power but hasn’t been back long. It’s Hendo though, you always think about him.

Meanwhile, new signing Fabinho has been passed fit to play after an illness.

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