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Liverpool handed major boost as key defensive ace could be back for Manchester United FA Cup clash

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By Sarthak Joshi

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Ibrahima Konate could be back for Manchester United clash

Liverpool star Ibrahima Konate was taken off with a muscular injury shortly after halftime in the Reds’ 5-1 victory over Sparta Prague on Thursday. He did not feature in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City as well.

He is expected to miss the Europa League round-of-16 second leg against the Czechs in midweek, but Klopp is sure the centre-back will be available for the trip to Old Trafford.

The Liverpool boss described the Frenchman’s situation as a “good chance” that he would be returning to the Old Trafford clash.

Konate's injury in the Sparta Prague match
Konate’s injury in the Sparta Prague match

Klopp was forced to field youngster Jarell Quansah alongside Virgil van Dijk against City on Sunday after Konate joined Joel Matip on the sidelines.

Liverpool remained second in the table courtesy of dropping points to City, having previously been top since Boxing Day, as Arsenal overtook them on goal difference. However, Klopp was happy with his team’s performance and was certain that they could win the title if their injury problems were alleviated.

When asked about the injury updates, Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo:

““Ibou has a chance for United. A good chance. Our injury situation is still awful. There are many players not available, it is crazy. If we were to play only the players who were not available today, that would have been a good team as one.”

“Yeah (we can go the distance in the title-race) but we need the players back. Today, and I love all the stories we created with the kids. Wonderful, couldn’t be happier.”

“All these things are really tricky. But we come through it. We played really good football in that, lucky in moments, winning late, fighting hard. We don’t take that for granted.”

Klopp described the Reds' injury situation as "still awful."
Klopp described the Reds’ injury situation as “still awful.”

Along with Konate, Liverpool are currently without Matip, Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Ryan Gravenberch, Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara, and Diogo Jota.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah was only deemed fit enough for the substitutes’ bench against City and replaced Dominik Szoboszlai in the 61st minute.

Liverpool have navigated a punishing period of fixtures with a stretched squad and remain in contention in all competitions.

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With crucial and exciting matches coming up for Liverpool in the upcoming days, it would be fascinating to see how Liverpool would hold up and tackle the clashes with such a vulnerable injury crisis.