News Matches

Jurgen Klopp confirms Ibrahima Konate is close to return and says Liverpool 'have to make changes' after Real Madrid loss

8:05 AM EST 2/24/23
Ibrahima Konate Liverpool 2022-23
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Ibrahima Konate is close to returning from injury for Liverpool, with the Reds boss planning to “make changes”.
  • Injuries have hit Reds hard
  • Consistency proving hard to come by
  • Top-four challenge still possible

WHAT HAPPENED? The 2022-23 campaign has been a testing one at Anfield, with regular setbacks on the fitness front doing collective efforts few favours. Konate is among those to have spent time on the sidelines - along with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz – but the France international centre-half is back in training and could have an important role to play over the coming weeks as Liverpool endeavour to plug defensive leaks.

WHAT THEY SAID: Klopp has said: “Ibou is near but only two sessions after a long injury. You can see when the boys come on they aren't at their best yet (Jota and Firmino). We have to make changes and we will. It's not that you come back from a long injury and it clicks back to normal, Virgil too.

“We need to find some consistency in the way we play. It cannot be all about emotions... We just have to start believing in ourselves again and bring our quality on the pitch. There are a lot of good things but we are not stable yet. We have to work on that stability.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Liverpool appeared to be edging their way back into form with successive 2-0 victories over Everton and Newcastle, but a 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter has rocked the Reds again. Klopp’s men are facing up to elimination from continental competition, while they only sit eighth in the Premier League table. Klopp added on a top-four bid: “European footballl... it's Liverpool! No-one asks me if we can make the Europa League, it's incredibly important we qualify [for the Champions League]. It's always so important and this year will be decided later if we can do it. We need points for that.”


WHAT NEXT? Liverpool, who sit seven points adrift of the top four at present, will be back in action on Saturday when taking in a trip to Crystal Palace.