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Injury worries for Liverpool ahead of Man Utd showdown

Klopp facing anxious wait over key midfield duo
Klopp facing anxious wait over key midfield duo

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is facing the prospect of being without two of his successful midfield trio for Monday's visit of Manchester United.

With Adam Lallana still recovering from a groin injury sustained at Swansea in their last match before the international break, Georginio Wijnaldum limped off with a hamstring problem in the second half of Holland's World Cup qualifying defeat to France.

The pair have started every Premier League match alongside Jordan Henderson this season and have been a key part of the Reds' rise to fourth, just two points behind leaders Manchester City.

A longer period of recovery gives Lallana the best chance of making the United match but Wijnaldum will be assessed on his return to the club's Melwood training ground to discover the extent of his problem.

Klopp does have Germany international Emre Can waiting in the wings to make his first league start of the campaign after injury in August's EFL Cup trip to Burton set him back.

Monday will be Jose Mourinho's first meeting with Liverpool as Manchester United manager and he will be looking to extend a run which has seen the Old Trafford club win the last four league matches, although Liverpool did prevail in last season's Europa League last-16 tie, winning 3-1 on aggregate.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said the Portuguese's move to Old Trafford in the summer has made him even more unpopular with Reds fans.

"The fact that Jose Mourinho is Manchester United manager adds extra spice to a fierce rivalry. It also means that beating them would be even sweeter," he wrote in the Liverpool Echo.

"Liverpool fans didn't mind Louis van Gaal. They didn't really have a problem with David Moyes but they can't stand Mourinho, especially after the way he conducted himself in the games against us with Chelsea.

"He's guaranteed a hostile reception and I think Mourinho's tactics will be exactly the same as when he brought Chelsea to Anfield in April 2014 (the day Liverpool's title bid foundered with a 2-0 defeat).

"Mourinho is a defensive manager and he will park the bus and then try to feed off our mistakes by hitting us on the break.

"I'm sure he will also place a big emphasis on set-pieces because United are a big team physically and they know that's been an area of weakness for us at times."