EPL: Klopp Must Pair This Player With Van Dijk For Defensive Solidity

Injuries have often been treated as negatives in the footballing world and rightly so but it’s not in all cases as demonstrated by Liverpool and the centre backs at the club.

Liverpool were the first team in action in the Premier League  as they played hosts to newly promoted side Norwich City who had won the English Championship title in the last campaign thereby securing their spot in the top flight for this season.

Klopp started England international Joe Gomez and first choice Virgil Van Dijk at the centre back as his team thrashed the Canaries 4-1 on the opening day of the new Liverpool season.

Norwich City played very well on that day and should have scored more than one goal registered by topscorer Teemu Pukki.

The lack of defensive solidity against Norwich City could have played a role in Klopp starting the duo of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip in the second league game at Southampton.

Van Dijk and Matip had been instrumental the previous season as Liverpool won the Champions League title.

Matip would be the centre back partner for Virgil Van Dijk until his injury after the away trip to arch rivals Manchester United in October.

The retired Cameroonian international centre back was replaced by Dejan Lovren and not Joe Gomez who was now the fourth choice central defender at the club.

Joe Gomez didn’t get his chance again until Dejan Lovren also succumbed to an injury just like Joel Matip before him.

Liverpool were not defensively sound until Joe Gomez brought back into the starting XI with the help of the injuries to Lovren and Matip.

With Joe Gomez in the Liverpool XI alongside Van Dijk, the Reds have kept eight clean sheets in the last nine in the league as they close in on their first Premier League title ever.

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