Naby Keita will miss Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round clash with Aston Villa on Friday, according to James Pearce. Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he hopes to have the Guinean midfielder back ‘soon’, however.
Keita, 25, has been out of action ever since Liverpool’s 7-0 victory at Crystal Palace on December 19 following a fitness issue.
Asked whether the Reds No.8 was close to a return, Klopp said: “Yes, soon, but not for the Villa game.”
The former RB Leipzig midfielder has been a regular absentee for the Reds this season. He has started in just six of Liverpool’s Premier League matches in 2020/21.
Keita could still return in time for Liverpool’s gargantuan title clash with bitter rivals Manchester United on January 19.
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Liverpool have seen their gap at the top cut into by United in recent weeks. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team could enter the fixture three points above the Reds if they win against Burnley next week.
Before that though, Liverpool are scheduled for another trip to Villa Park to begin their inaugural FA Cup match this term.
But it seems the Reds will be without Naby Keita for that particular bout, as Klopp looks towards the United bout as a more realistic return date for the Liverpool No.8.
And supporters share the same optimism for Keita to return in due course, ahead of the most eagerly anticipated match of the season so far.
Reaction to Keita update
Here are a selection of responses from supporters following Pearce’s latest injury update…