Despite returning to Liverpool training today, Naby Keita will not travel to Hungary with his team-mates to take on RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
The midfielder’s appearance at the Kirkby training centre offered fans some hope he was back in the fold with enough time to be in consideration for the clash.
But manager Jurgen Klopp has now confirmed Keita will remain local to Liverpool this week and prepare for the Merseyside Derby this coming Saturday.
As reported by James Pearce, the boss confirmed (in German – hence no direct quotes) the Leipzig game comes too soon for the No.8.
Klopp says the Leipzig game comes too soon for Naby Keita. He will stay behind at Kirkby and train rather than flying to Hungary. #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) February 15, 2021
Fabinho was a notable absentee in training earlier this week and – unlike Keita – the Brazilian is yet to return, meaning Klopp will have to plan for the Leipzig clash without the midfielder-turned-defender.
In our predicted XI piece, we tipped the boss to keep the same back four from the loss away at Leicester City: Ozan Kabak, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
With the captain being forced into the back line in that scenario, don’t be surprised if Nat Phillips or Ben Davies actually get the nod instead to allow the skipper to move further up the pitch,where the Reds have lacked steel.