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Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool can score without Adam Lallana

England's Adam Lallana goes off injured

Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool’s rare struggles in front of goal are not connected to Adam Lallana’s absence as the creative midfielder continues his recovery from injury.

Lallana is set to miss Sunderland’s Premier League visit to Anfield on Saturday and the EFL Cup quarter-final at home to Leeds United on Tuesday with a groin problem suffered in England’s friendly international draw with Spain. The England international was absent when Liverpool were held to goalless draws at Southampton last weekend and by Manchester United on 17 October, the only games Klopp’s team have not won in their past 11 outings.

Liverpool have scored 17 goals in five home league matches this season, a record bettered only in 1980-81 when Bob Paisley’s team plundered 19 in five, and Klopp insists Lallana’s absence is a coincidence rather than a cause of the occasional blank.

He said: “Adam Lallana, as everybody knows well, is an important player but it is not about just him. The games against Man United and Southampton were completely different. You cannot compare. That is no reason for us. We don’t know if we can bring the same formation. We have got a few guys who are struggling a little bit this week and we will have to make a few late decisions.”

Liverpool’s defensive record is also impressive at Anfield this season with only the league leaders Chelsea conceding fewer goals than their four. The summer signing Joël Matip has played an instrumental role and Klopp admits it was the Cameroon international’s composure that prompted interest, not his availability on a free transfer from Schalke.

The Liverpool manager explained: “From the first moment when we thought about him and we knew his situation, we knew his readiness to change club and come to Liverpool and all that stuff, we were convinced we would do it. We didn’t do it just because he didn’t cost a transfer fee, not one second, that was only a nice plus.

“We are not surprised. We thought it would work and that is why you make transfers. All the rest is about the boy. He is very cool, really cool. He’s not the most talkative person, I would say. That all helps. He is confident. In his first few weeks he said: ‘I think I can help the team’ and that was confidence. That is what you need. The rest you need is quality and the help of your team.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Andy Hunter, for The Guardian on Friday 25th November 2016 22.30 Europe/London

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