The Liverpool defender’s injury-free campaign is the catalyst behind the Reds’ Premier League title challenge. – erte sports 10

Joel Matip: The Liverpool defender's injury-free campaign is the catalyst behind the Reds' Premier League title challenge., News Sports, sport

Joel Matip joined Liverpool from Schalke for free in 2016; The defender won the Champions League, Premier League, European Super Cup, World Club Cup and League Cup at Anfield. Watch Liverpool vs Everton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm. Kick-off 4:30 p.m.

Joel Matip: The Liverpool defender’s injury-free campaign is the catalyst behind the Reds’ Premier League title challenge.

Joel Matip joined Liverpool from Schalke for free in 2016; The defender won the Champions League, Premier League, European Super Cup, World Club Cup and League Cup at Anfield. Watch Liverpool vs Everton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm. Kick-off 4:30 p.m.

How a year makes a difference? Ask exhausted Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip, who is playing the best football of his career, 12 months later in a campaign to recover from a record-breaking injury. He and almost the entire season of the club.

This time last year Reigning champion Jurgen Klopp has threatened to defend his worst title in Premier League history. Between six unseen games in a row at home league losses that have prompted reports that the German is preparing to leave Anfield.

Support, if you call it a temporary element. The midfield often has to be added. It is also a shadow of the defensive line that formed the foundation for the club’s first top-flight title in 30 years in 2019-20.

Himself, Matip, who is Klopp’s real favourite. It is his first signing after joining Liverpool on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer of 2016, having endured a miserable season as one injury after another has reduced his involvement to just . 10 league matches

All this after his previous two seasons. both of which won trophies for the club was badly interrupted by undeserved knee and ankle injuries Matip played in just 32 Premier League games during that time.

So much so that many have begun to question whether the 30-year-old and young French defender Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig last summer. to compete for position Even the future at Anfield season.

not his team manager There has been no time to restore Matip back to defense for the opening game of the season 3-0 victory at Norwich City in August. It’s the first time I’ve kept a clean sheet of 19 points in the league so far this season.

Overall, Matip is part of the backline with just 22 goals in the top flight to date, behind Manchester City, while only Chelsea and the champions have scored in the first half against the Reds in the Premier League this year. this.

So what is the secret behind the return of their defensive strength in this campaign?

“It’s the whole team. Start with an offensive How do they put pressure on the players? It’s just the whole team and the way we defended,” Matip explained ahead of this weekend’s Merseyside derby live on Sky Sports Premier League.

“We are developing And that’s not too bad. And we feel uncomfortable for many teams.”

And the return of the injury-free Matip has returned to the backline, although he is too modest to say so.

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Joel Matip endured an injury-plagued few seasons with Liverpool before this campaign

“It’s personally good for me to be fit and able to play. And I look forward to staying fit and helping the team. And it might be there to challenge,” he added.

One of the main reasons Matip has consistently featured in this campaign is the clever rotation of his and Konate in the Premier League and Champions League. The pair often alternate as Virgil van Dijk’s centre-back duo.

“Ibra did a great job. There was no reason he shouldn’t play with it. especially my injury history. It fits my situation very well,” Matip said.

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“It’s personally good for me to be fit and able to play. And I look forward to staying fit and helping the team. And it might be there to challenge,” he added.

One of the main reasons Matip has consistently featured in this campaign is the clever rotation of his and Konate in the Premier League and Champions League. The pair often alternate as Virgil van Dijk’s centre-back duo.

“Ibra did a great job. There was no reason he shouldn’t play with it. especially my injury history. It fits my situation very well,” Matip said.

That strategy worked. By Matip’s best form in six years for the club so far. Received the Premier League Player of the Month award for Feb. This included a striking solo goal in the 6-0 home win over Leeds United.

“It was easier for me because I didn’t have a major injury and I kept going. We are in great form as a team. And everyone can play for themselves which is better and we are in good form right now,” he said. “And you see this for all my teammates.”

However, it wasn’t just Matip’s goal that caused a stir at Anfield. But also his specialty in dribbling from the defensive line, who often opens up the opposing line, as seen recently when he opened the ball for Luis Diaz at Brighton. Again, during a transfer that led the hosts to a 2-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday night with one of the team goals of the season.

“It’s one of the options. I try to pay But sometimes it’s easier to take a few steps and drag my opponent away. and increase the space for my teammates or give me some space he said politely. “And I just saw an opportunity. And if it helps, why not!”

On Klopp’s first signing as Liverpool manager Matip is probably best judged on how good the current vintage is compared to the 2018-19 Champions League winners or the Premier League champions the following season.

“We always have a lot of quality. But we are developing Our off-ball game gets better and better,” Matip said. “Against the ball we were quite dangerous. but from the beginning especially with the ball Even with a deep defense team or with the press team We can find more solutions.

“And from behind Sometimes it’s pretty good to see it. and when we change And some people come in at 60-70 minutes with the effect they make. It was amazing.”

As for himself, German-born defender Matip, whose “life has just changed” after the birth of his first child Nathan – after the remains became a real cult on the Anfield terrace. And even more after he had said a lot – about the celebrations following Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley in February.

“If I meet someone they are always good to me And some of my teammates recognized me from time to time. And they sent me pictures and other things,” he said.

“But I’m really honored and happy. to be part of the club And people like me are the biggest pluses. And it makes me feel comfortable and at home here again.”

Liverpool fans will be hoping they will see more of Matip’s bizarre moves in the coming weeks. Especially after missing the opportunity to celebrate the club’s trophies together two years ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of course it would be great. But it’s still a long way to go There are some games that are difficult to keep going. But we are in good form. And I’m looking forward to finally winning another trophy,” he said.

“Of course, it will make a huge difference. (to celebrate with fans), but it’s a long way to go there. But of course everyone will be looking forward to this moment. But there will be some difficult and difficult games.”

However, in doing so Klopp’s side need to keep winning in order to stay on Manchester City’s coats, starting with the visit of Merseyside rivals Everton in the Super Sun. day

The Toffees must travel across Stanley. Park for a short time in a relegation duel But for Matip and his teammates Form comes out the window when it comes to fierce clashes in the area.

“We know that for them It was an opportunity to change the whole game. To bring a different mood to the club, the team,” he said, “and we have to be careful that they are there from the first second. Try everything and try your best like we do and fight.

“We will try to play our football. Then I am sure we will get a good result.”

Everton’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the league last February. Will their first win at Anfield since 1999 certainly increase the stakes ahead of Sunday’s encounter?

“We all know this is a really big game. for us and the club We know our situation So we can only go 100 per cent, no rest time, we just fight and knock them down, this is how we get into this game,” said Matip.

6 games left and any mistakes Now will prove decisive in winning the championship. But this is how Liverpool have always been since they were 14 points behind City in mid-January.

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