Jurgen Klopp drops Naby Keita injury hint with team selection

Jurgen Klopp appeared drop a Naby Keita hint last night as the Guinean continues to recover from injury. Keita went off injured against Manchester United.

Naby Keita was exceptional against Manchester United on Sunday. The 26-year-old started on the right of a midfield three with a licence to get forward.

And ‘get forward’ he did. Keita found himself in key positions for three of Liverpool’s four first-half goals. He scored the first, assisted the third and played Trent Alexander-Arnold in to create the second.

It was a magnificent display and one we absolutely loved. It’s just such a shame Paul Pogba cut it short.

The Frenchman received a straight red card for his tackle on Keita, with the Liverpool man going off on a stretcher. After such a good performance, his immediate availability was suddenly in great doubt.

Pep Lijnders confirmed this week that Keita had a bruise. No serious injury, then, but a painful one. There wasn’t any real update on when he’d be back, though.

Until last night. We think Liverpool dropped a real hint on Keita’s availability.

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Keita injury hint

Keita is not the only injured Liverpool midfielder. James Milner picked up a hamstring issue in the same game, while Harvey Elliott and Thiago haven’t played in over a month.

So going into the Preston North End fixture, Liverpool were light in midfield. There was essentially no chance that Jordan Henderson would play another 90 minutes, either, leaving only two centre-midfielders.

Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were both fit. The catch was that Liverpool would need them for Saturday’s return to Anfield against Brighton. Surely, then, they wouldn’t both start.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

And yet both did. To us, that’s a suggestion that Keita will be fit to play on Saturday. Otherwise, Liverpool took a big risk playing both Jones & Oxlade-Chamberlain in the EFL Cup.

We’re not sure they’d have taken that risk if both had to start against Brighton. It’s fairly safe to assume Keita will be okay, then, and he is back in training as of Thursday.

As if Thiago, in fact – but we doubt the Spaniard has enough match-fitness to start so soon. Instead, we imagine it’ll be Henderson, Keita and either Jones or Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Either way, this is almost certainly good news on Keita.

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