Jamie Rednapp: This player can improve Liverpool’s defence ahead of Man United clash

The former Liverpool captain singles out Joel Matip as the man to improve the Reds defence ahead of their trip to Manchester United

Jamie Redknapp is hopeful that Joel Matip can bring greater defensive cohesion to the Liverpool side ahead of their trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

The Reds suffered a 1-0 defeat by Southampton in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at St Mary’s on Wednesday night after Nathan Redmond scored a first-half goal on the south coast.

Liverpool started with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan at centre-half as Klopp continued with the second-choice centre-half pairing in the absence of Cameroon international Matip.

The towering defender has been nursing an ankle injury since a 2-2 draw with West Ham United at Anfield in early December but Matip returned to first-team training earlier this week.

Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to the Saints in the League Cup, Redknapp explained the impact that Matip’s return to the Liverpool side could have ahead of their trip to bitter rivals Manchester United in their next Premier League game on Sunday.

“It shows you how much they miss Joel Matip,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“His return could be the catalyst for improved defensive cohesion.”

Liverpool are five points ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United.

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