Kabak an injury doubt for Fulham clash as Liverpool suffer another injury blow

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v Liverpool - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - February 28, 2021 Liverpool's Ozan Kabak in action Pool via REUTERS/Oli Scarff

(Reuters) - Liverpool's new signing Ozan Kabak became manager Juergen Klopp's latest injury headache ahead of Sunday's Premier League match against Fulham after the Turkish centre back picked up a knock against Chelsea.

Defending Premier League champions Liverpool have had to contend with a number of injury setbacks in central defence this season, having lost first-team regulars Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries early on.

Kabak, who joined Liverpool on loan from Schalke 04 at the start of February, has started the last five games for the Merseyside club, including Thursday's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea.

"Ozan had yesterday after the game a little problem. He has played a lot of games now and we will see if he is ready for Fulham," Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

"It doesn't look like in the moment, so we will have to find solutions."

While Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson are also out injured, Klopp said Nathaniel Phillips, who missed the Chelsea match with a knock, is set to be fit for Fulham's visit.

Ben Davies, another centre back who arrived at Anfield in the mid-season window, is also available for selection.

"For Ben it's not easy in our situation," Klopp said. "We brought him in and he still has to adapt. He is a really good player."

Klopp played down top scorer Mohamed Salah's visibly frustrated reaction to being substituted at the hour mark against Chelsea and urged his team to fight harder if they are to secure Champions League qualification.

"He wasn't happy with being subbed as a striker, he wanted to stay on. It's a normal issue," said Klopp, whose Liverpool side are four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

"Mo still has a great scoring record and everyone knows even he knows himself he could have scored more. That's not a problem. We all have to improve, definitely."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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