Jurgen Klopp confident Liverpool's defensive injuries just short term

Brighton & Hove Albion's goalkeeper Mathew Ryan during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. (Pic by David Ra

Stats show Liverpool face unprecedented challenge in title race

Joe Gomez (leg) and Joel Matip (collarbone) have also been sidelined, but speaking at Melwood, Klopp confirmed both Henderson and Matip are back in full training-though Lovren, Gomez and Lallana would all miss out this weekend.

If Fabinho plays in defence, Liverpool can ill afford Henderson to be absent as it will limit midfield options.

Croatian centre back Dejan Lovren picked up a muscle injury early in Monday's FA Cup third round defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers to add to the absence of two other central defenders Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

Of the 11 teams that won the league after leading at this stage since 1905-06, when 20 teams competed for the first time, many had sizeable leads unlike Liverpool's slender advantage this time round. "We have to decide day-by-day how he is doing". Not 100 percent sure, it's good for us, of course. Adam [Lallana] is out.

"Improving obviously, but we know they're not available".

"I don't know [when Lovren is back]". Only 50% of Brighton games have seen three or more goals in the Premier League this season but matches involving Liverpool have produced three or more 57% of the time and looking at their respective records at home and away, I fancy there'll be goals.

But Klopp said: "There's no advantage, we will see it".

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is a major doubt for Saturday's trip to Brighton.

"And he said as much afterwards, by saying that the players he brought in, even the experienced players that were brought into the side, were struggling for rhythm and that just made it harder for the younger players who were brought in, which we should have been able to tell beforehand really".

"If Fabinho has to play as a centre-half what we want is the natural understanding of the game".

They are still four points clear of Manchester City in the title race, and will now benefit from more rest with no more FA Cup fixtures.

City, for instance, held a 14-point advantage over Chelsea at the same stage a year ago and are the first top-flight team to reach the 50-point mark after 21 games and not lead the table.

Klopp said he welcomed the extra training time the break would allow, but admitted his preference would have been for Liverpool to still be in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.

"As long as you can stay completely focused and completely with yourself the better it is. I'm not sure, but we have to see". "Now we have to make the best of the time we have and get as many points as possible".

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