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TOP OF THE TABLE Decision looms over Joel Matip as Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool are under pressure

Liverpool manager needs to decide whether to risk Matip against United

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Liverpool’s Joel Matip (centre) will be assessed in training before Jurgen Klopp decides if he is fit enough to return from a groin problem against Manchester United.

Liverpool’s Joel Matip (centre) will be assessed in training before Jurgen Klopp decides if he is fit enough to return from a groin problem against Manchester United.

Liverpool’s Joel Matip (centre) will be assessed in training before Jurgen Klopp decides if he is fit enough to return from a groin problem against Manchester United.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip faces a crucial 24 hours in his attempt to be fit to face Manchester United in Sunday's top of the table clash at Anfield.

Matip has been battling to recover from his latest injury problem to take his place in the biggest game of the season, with Liverpool's lack of defensive options likely to press manager Jurgen Klopp into taking a chance on the German defender as his side look to end a three-game winless run.

"Joel is close," Klopp said on Friday. "Does it make sense now to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?

"To bring him in, I don't know. We have to see, we have to decide, we have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions."

Matip trained with the Liverpool senior players on Friday, with club officials releasing images of him back in action as he looks to play his first match since December 27th.

Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has suggested the pressure is all on Klopp and his Premier League champions as they look to draw level with United at the top of the table.

United head into the game three points clear of their great rivals, with Carragher telling Sky Sports that the moment has come for Liverpool to respond.

"I actually think it's a bigger game for Liverpool," Carragher said. "The onus is more on them.

"If United got a result there, that's when the belief would come that they could win the league. I still think people think United may fall away and Liverpool have still got that edge, but if they won at Anfield that would send shockwaves through the Premier League.

"It's a game where Liverpool need to show they are the champions, they are the better team, get the result and also a performance that puts Manchester United back where they are."

Read interviews with the Sky Sports duo of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, as well as exclusive columns from John Aldridge and Paul McGrath in this weekend's Sunday World.

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