Jürgen Klopp has said Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have made “big steps” in adapting to Liverpool’s style as he considers another defensive reshuffle at Leicester.
The Liverpool manager has used 12 different central defensive partnerships in the Premier League this season and could make it 13 at the King Power Stadium, where Fabinho will be absent with another muscle injury. Kabak and Davies have not featured since signing on deadline day, with Klopp giving the pair time to adjust to his requirements in training. But he has indicated that one could make their debut against Jamie Vardy and company as the champions look to recover from last weekend’s damaging defeat by Manchester City.
Klopp, who also has Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams available to play alongside Jordan Henderson, said: “They have really thrown themselves into everything that is ahead of them, which is what a defender should do. Both Ben and Ozan are calm people, willing to learn and have a great attitude. They are making big steps in adapting to the way we play. Again, that’s important.
“We have still a clear way to defend, which is important. If both of them would be on the pitch then there are still nine players used to what we have done before. If two players do something completely differently then that would lead to a strange situation. It’s all good so far. Now we have to make a decision.”
Klopp will be taking charge of his 300th Liverpool game and has won 179. Only Kenny Dalglish, with 185, has won more at the same stage of his Anfield career.
“It doesn’t feel like this at the moment, I can tell you,” said Klopp of his successful Liverpool record. “That’s something I will think about when I’m not here any more, not in the moment. I know that my job is the present and the future, not the past. Game number 300 is very important to me and games one-299 are not a little bit important at this moment. We know we are not completely clueless when we talk about football, but we know that we have to be successful in the future.”
Liverpool are awaiting a decision from Uefa on where their Champions League last 16 second leg against RB Leipzig will be played, with alternatives to Anfield being explored due to quarantine rules in Germany. The first leg will take place in Budapest on Tuesday.