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Liverpool to be without Van Dijk & Gomez against Bayern as Klopp admits to selection headache

2:11 PM GMT 01/02/2019
Joe Gomez Liverpool 2018-19
The Reds boss is already having to contend with a suspension to a key centre-half, and has now revealed that another option will not be fit in time

Liverpool are set to be without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter with Bayern Munich, with Jurgen Klopp revealing that the latter will not return from injury in time.

The Reds are set to welcome the German giants to Anfield on February 19.

With that contest being staged on home soil, Klopp’s side will be desperate to secure a positive result and claim the upper hand in the heavyweight European encounter.

Their cause is not being aided, though, by the absence of key men.

Van Dijk is set to miss out after picking up three yellow cards in the group stage to earn a one-match ban, while Gomez will be unavailable as he continues to work his way back from a broken leg suffered against Burnley in early December.

Quizzed on whether the England international could be ready, Klopp said: “I don't think so. Not a realistic target. After that? We will see.”

Prior to facing Bayern, Liverpool have two Premier League fixtures to contend with against West Ham and Bournemouth.

The first of those is set to take them to the London Stadium on Monday.

Van Dijk will be in contention for that contest, as the Reds seek to cement a standing at the top of the Premier League table, but there are other defensive issues to contend with.

Trent Alexander-Arnold sits alongside Gomez on the treatment table, with the 20-year-old nursing a knee complaint.

“Trent and Joe are not fit,” Klopp said.

“There is no return date for Joe. Trent is getting better and better and better and is really close. I hope he is in full training next week.”

While Liverpool have players edging their way back to fitness, Klopp concedes that he can ill afford to pick up any more knocks despite working hard to add greater depth to the ranks at Anfield.

The German added: “I hope we don’t have more injuries because we already have enough. The same with suspensions. It’s why you build a squad.

“You know about these players. You know they can do different jobs. If you don’t have them, you need players in each position and then you have a very big squad.

“You think two players in each position until one is injured and then things are difficult.

“We have internal solutions for different problems so credit to the boys.”