Much of the talk following Liverpool’s recent league victories over Leeds United and Nottingham Forest has revolved around the Reds’ tactical tweak that sees fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold move into midfield in possession.
That unorthodox shift has helped give Liverpool a much-needed numerical advantage in midfield while giving their opponents a marking headache. It’s a shift, though, that relies on a right-sided centre half with the mobility to cover the wider areas when the ball is turned over, something that at the moment only Ibrahima Konaté appears well suited to.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps a mild concern that Konaté is currently a question mark to be fit to face West Ham when the Reds head to London Stadium to take on the Hammers in mid-week action on Wednesday—though manager Jürgen Klopp says he’s hopeful.
“We need to see how it is with him but in the moment I am rather positive,” Klopp noted at his pre-match press conference when asked about injuries and Konaté’s status. “That maybe doesn’t mean a lot but from possible starters I think that’s it.”
Liverpool’s other injury concerns heading into tomorrow’s game are perhaps a little less concerning, impacting players who would be useful bench options but probably wouldn’t be first in line for a start on Wednesday.
In midfield, Naby Keïta isn’t expected to be involved while Roberto Firmino’s recent injury could see the man who redefined the striker role at Liverpool finish his career in Red on the trainer’s table—though when it comes to Firmino’s potential return timeline, Klopp says he’s hopeful about that, too.
“I hope that at the end of the week he’s close, but so far he was not in team training,” the manager noted of Firmino’s situation while adding that Keïta is “much closer” to a return and currently able to be involved in some aspects of team training.
“He was not in team training yet but he could do warming up,” Klopp said of Keïta. “If we do rondos he could do that and then he has again to do his own programme. So it means, yes, he is much, much closer.”