Liverpool welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers in a midweek Premier League match at Anfield this evening, and Jurgen Klopp will no doubt be hoping that his team can rediscover some confidence in front of the home crowd
The Reds have had a difficult seven days, beginning with a 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League, followed by a drab and uninspiring stalemate with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday night.
The Reds are now nine points away of a top-four Champions League qualification berth, and a 3-0 win in the second leg at the Bernabeu will be their last chance to advance in the European championship. As a result, next season’s participation in the event is in jeopardy.
As a result, every point and remaining fixture in the Premier League matters to Klopp, and tonight’s game provides the squad with a wonderful opportunity to close the distance on fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
With Ibrahima Konate confirmed as a possible returnee this evening, Liverpool have received a significant injury boost ahead of the game.
“Ibou training now perfectly normal,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference. At the very least, the squad should be fine.”
Will Konate make his debut against the Wolves?
With the terrible performance against Palace, and with Klopp stating that Joe Gomez will not be available for the game, tonight’s game could be the ideal time to reintroduce Konate into the defensive set-up and reconnect with Virgil van Dijk.
Should Konate start against the Wolves?
The young Frenchman injured his hamstring at the end of January and has not been seen in the team since, but the game against Wolves couldn’t have come at a better moment, and if he can help Liverpool win, he will undoubtedly make his claim in the centre-back position going ahead.
Despite making only five Premier League games this season, the £70k-per-week behemoth has an 86% pass completion rate and has completed 100% of his dribbling attempts, demonstrating that he is the ideal modern-day centre-half, capable of comfortably passing the ball out from defence.
Furthermore, his 1.8 interceptions per game are first on the team, while his 2.4 tackles rank second on the team and first among defenders.
Having said that, the return of Konate will undoubtedly be warmly welcomed by the Anfield supporters this evening, and Klopp will be hoping that a new perspective in the team will assist to improve on the dreary performances seen on far too many occasions this season.
‘I feel really sorry,’ says Kostas Tsimikas after learning of the £37 million Liverpool star’s departure.
Konstantinos Tsimikas told The Athletic that he was devastated to learn that Liverpool star Luis Diaz had suffered another injury setback
Diaz has been sidelined since Liverpool’s 3-2 loss to Arsenal in September, but the 25-year-old appeared ready to return during the club’s mid-season tour of Dubai.
After recovering from a knee injury, the 25-year-old was back in training and might have played against Lyon last Sunday, according to Goal.com.
But Diaz suffered a severe setback in training and is now expected to be out until March, which Jurgen Klopp described as ‘a big bash in the face’.
Now, Tsimikas has spoken ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup match against Manchester City tomorrow night, and he has said that hearing the news about Diaz devastated him.
Diaz on Tsimikas
“It’s really horrible luck for Luis, and I’m very sorry for him,” Tsimikas told the Athletic.
“Fortunately, he is both mentally and physically powerful. I wish him a rapid recovery and promise that each and every one of us will be there for him every step of the way. We’ll be ready for him.”
Diaz’s injury is a tough pill for Klopp to take, especially because Diogo Jota is still working his way back to full health.
The winger has been a star player at Anfield since coming from Porto for £37 million in January, and Liverpool have missed him greatly since Sadio Mane’s departure.
The Reds gained vital playing time during their tour of Dubai, losing 3-1 to Lyon before smashing AC Milan 4-1 a few days later.
In their first competitive game in almost a month, Klopp’s team will face a severe test tomorrow night.