Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp insists he doesn’t know how he’ll cover the absence of Fabinho if the midfielder picks up his fifth yellow card of the season against Aston Villa.
The Brazil international has been one of Liverpool’s standout players this season and is unbeaten in his 30 Premier League starts in a Red shirt, but Fabinho is now walking on a tightrope after picking up yellow cards against Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United.
Fabinho will be given a one-match suspension if he picks up another booking, which could see him miss their clash with Manchester City next week, and Klopp admits he doesn’t know how he’ll fill the gap left by his star midfielder.
“I don’t know yet. We have to see,” Klopp said, quoted by The Independent. “I know it [the potential suspension], of course. What we do with that I don’t know.”
Klopp was asked if Fabinho would be given any special instructions against Aston Villa to ensure he’s available when Pep Guardiola’s City travel to Anfield next week.
The Liverpool boss conceded that the club can’t take it easy this weekend with one eye on Manchester City, but Klopp did joke that he’d ask Fabinho not to make any tackles at all at Villa Park.
He added: “No challenges at all!
“That’s not possible against Aston Villa, playing without challenges, especially in that position. You cannot ask for this.
“The player knows it, I know it. Is there any game where you think that’s a good game to get a fifth yellow card?
“Maybe other teams are pretty smart in that and take them, I don’t know, I never did it.
“We have to deal with. Maybe he has to deal with it on the pitch or I have to deal with it with the line-up. We didn’t make a final decision yet, so we will see.”
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