Matip injury adds to Liverpool’s defensive woes

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Premier League leader Liverpool is facing an injury crisis in defense heading into the busy festive program in English soccer.

The club says center back Joel Matip will be out for up to six weeks after breaking his collarbone during the 1-0 win over Napoli on Tuesday that secured Liverpool a place in the Champions League knockout stage. Matip is set for an operation.

Joe Gomez, who has been playing at both right back and center back this season, is out for a similar length of time after breaking a bone in his leg last week.

Meanwhile, right back Trent Alexander-Arnold came off injured against Napoli with a foot injury and will undergo scans, and center back Dejan Lovren has only started six games this season because of injuries and a recent concussion.

Liverpool, which is in the middle of a run of nine games in 33 days through until early January, leads the league by one point after going the first 16 games unbeaten.