Naby Keita is yet to overcome his injury woes at Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp ruled him out of Sunday’s Merseyside Derby in the third round of the FA Cup. Keita was in the starting 11 for Thursday’s Premier League 2 nil win against Sheffield United at Anfield but was withdrawn after he was hit with a suspected groin injury during the warm-up.
Klopp revealed the 24-year-old’s status after the game through the club’s official website: “I don’t know exactly what he has—it was the groin—but I can say already he will not be involved against Everton. That makes it 12 adult players we have [available], plus the kids, so that’s not cool, but we cannot change it.”
James Milner went on to replace Naby Keita against the Blades but his unavailability is a cause for concern as they face an Everton side who appear revitalized under new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
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Keita has been impressing for Liverpool in recent games since joining the Reds in 2018. It can be recalled that he played the entire duration of the game in the 3 nil win against Bournemouth in December followed by 70 minutes of action in the 4 nil bashing of Leicester City at the King Power on Boxing Day.
Keita is one of the exceptional midfielders in Jurgen Klopp’s side owing to his speed, tricky feet, flair, and vision. However, injuries have hampered his impact at the club. It can be recalled that the midfielder missed over a month of action at the start of the 2019/20 season due to a muscle tear. Meanwhile, other injury worries for Liverpool in midfielder include Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
This leaves Liverpool short of bodies in the middle of the Park when they face Everton on Sunday. A reliance on youth may not be ideal for this game with Everton seemingly revitalized. It can be recalled that Klopp steered his men to a win against Everton at the same stage of the competition some 12 months ago. Hopefully, they can make it a double, even with a depleted midfield.
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