Garth Crooks impressed by Joel Matip and Fabinho's new Liverpool FC partnership

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks says he is impressed with Joel Matip's impact alongside Fabinho on Liverpool FC

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Joel Matip has forged a formidable partnership with Fabinho in the heart of the Liverpool FC defence, according to Garth Crooks.

The defending Premier League champions were 7-0 winners against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in Saturday’s early kick-off to cement their position at the top of the table.

Goals from Takumi Minamino, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson sealed a resounding win to improve Liverpool FC’s goal difference after losing 7-2 at Aston Villa earlier this season.

Liverpool FC are without their club-record signing Virgil van Dijk and England international Joe Gomez after the two centre-halves both suffered serious knee injuries.

Fabinho has been playing at centre-half despite traditionally being used as a midfielder, while Matip has been starting alongside the Brazilian when he’s fit.

The former Cameroon international hasn’t lost a Liverpool FC game this term to undermine his positive impact on Jurgen Klopp’s team.

BBC Sport pundit Crooks heaped praise on Matip for his impact on the Liverpool FC team over the past month or so.

“Matip hasn’t found it easy to settle in at Liverpool, especially since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, but the Cameroonian looks very impressive alongside the combative Fabinho. Together, they are becoming a formidable pair,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Matip is also proving to be very dangerous in the opposition’s penalty area and gave Crystal Palace nightmares on set-pieces. It was his header that provided Mohamed Salah with his opening goal on Saturday.

“Van Dijk’s absence through injury, and that of Joe Gomez, has forced Reds boss Jurgen Klopp to use Matip and Fabinho as a partnership and they have developed in areas they once struggled.”

Matip moved to Liverpool FC in a free transfer from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 in the 2016 summer transfer window.

The Cameroonian defender has scored six times in 120 games in all competitions over the past four and a half seasons.

Matip has won the Premier League, the Champions League, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.

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