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Liverpool's defensive crisis shows no signs of abating with Rhys Williams dropping out of the England Under-21s squad with a hip injury.

Jurgen Klopp's side are set to be without their first-choice center back pairing of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk for the vast majority of the season after both suffered major knee injuries and Fabinho, the defensive midfielder who was viewed as first reserve in defense, has been struggling with a thigh issue.

In their absence Williams or fellow youth prospect Nathaniel Phillips appeared to be the natural options to partner Joel Matip against Leicester City on Sunday but the former has emerged as a doubt after withdrawing from England U21s 5-0 win over Albania.

"He had a very minor stiff hip," said U21s head coach Aidy Boothroyd. "It was in his best interests to get him back to Liverpool.

"With all the players, if there's any potential injuries or niggles then our medical staff is in contact with the club.

"Rhys wasn't actually on the bench so I thought the best thing was to get him back to Liverpool."

Williams has made five appearances for Liverpool this season in the EFL Cup and Champions League but Phillips, not registered for the latter competition, has featured in the Premier League so far.

Full-back pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are also doubts for the visit of Leicester to the King Power Stadium with the latter believed to be more likely to feature. Alexander-Arnold was withdrawn from the England squad ahead of the international break after suffering a calf injury in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Club captain Jordan Henderson also withdrew from England duty on Monday after being substituted midway through the defeat to Belgium with what Gareth Southgate termed "a bit of tightness".

Mohamed Salah tested positive for coronavirus whilst with the Egyptian national team and is expected to miss the game against Leicester.