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12:30 AM UTC Apr 25, 2018
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Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren to miss Man United game

LIVERPOOL -- Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren have been ruled out of Liverpool's crunch Premier League meetings with Arsenal and Manchester United.

The pair limped off with hamstring injuries during Tuesday's 1-0 Capital One Cup semifinal first-leg win at Stoke City.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed neither will be fit in time for the home clashes with the Gunners on Jan. 13 and United on Jan. 17.

Before that, the pair will also miss Friday's FA Cup third-round tie away to Exeter City.

Jordon Ibe will also reportedly miss the Exeter City game after skipping training with a hamstring problem, according to the Liverpool Echo.

To compound Lovren's absence, fellow centre-back Kolo Toure, who finished the game at Stoke with cramp, will also be unavailable, leaving the German with no fit central defenders in his first-team squad.

Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel were already battling knee and hamstring problems respectively.

"Phil is more serious than Dejan and Kolo, but none of these players will be available [on Friday]," Klopp told a news conference on Thursday. "Coutinho is more serious than Dejan. Kolo is only cramp but it won't be possible for him to play the next game.

"With Dejan I think the situation is he is available after United. Phil needs one, maybe two weeks longer, or three weeks. It's rarely that it's quicker. We will see."

Klopp conceded that a lack of defenders and his depleted attacking options left no alternative but to try to sign new players in as soon as possible. He had previously declared himself happy with the squad at his disposal but admitted that circumstances had forced his hand.

"The truth is of course that we have to react," he said. "Not only to take new players, because it's difficult to find players, but quality players [who] have to be in a difficult situation at their clubs or whatever, to find the perfect solution. But we have our eyes open on the market."

Andrea Ranocchia of Inter Milan and Neven Subotic, the Borussia Dortmund centre-back whom Klopp also managed at Mainz, have been linked with moves to Liverpool.

Asked whether they were among those he had his eyes on, Klopp replied: "Has ever before a manager said something to names in a press conference? I can't remember. I don't know."

Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @writertombell.


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