Liverpool left sweating on Ibrahima Konate fitness ahead of Man City clash

Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate came off early against Sparta Prague on Thursday night as a precaution but the Reds must wait for more information on the full extent of the Frenchman’s injury ahead Sunday’s clash with Manchester City.

Konate was withdrawn five minutes after half-time in the Czech capital, replaced by Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool ran out 5-1 winners to put one foot in the Europa League quarter-finals. It appeared to be the result of some kind of muscle problem when chasing back towards his own goal.

Based on what Jurgen Klopp said afterwards, the player appeared to take the decision to come off himself out of fear of causing more serious damage were he to continue.

“We don’t know [yet]. Ibou said to me when he passed me in that moment, ‘I thought if I do another sprint then it could be bad.’ So, he said he should be fine, but we don’t know,” Klopp explained.

Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van DijkIbrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk came on in Konate’s place / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Liverpool fans will be hoping that Konate caught himself just in time and that it is nothing serious, especially with Joel Matip already out for the season and Jarell Quansah the only remaining back-up central defender, if Joe Gomez continues at right-back, for a tense run-in on multiple fronts.

“His substitution was precautionary,” Klopp also said to TNT Sports. “We will see [for Sunday].”

Liverpool will stay top of the Premier League at the weekend with a win over Manchester City at Anfield. Defeat would see City jump in front of them, while a draw would leave both clubs vulnerable to being leapfrogged by Arsenal from third place thanks to the Gunners’ goal difference.


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