Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been ruled out of Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham through injury.
The Guinea international has been sidelined since suffering an abductor injury against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the competition, which saw him miss the final few weeks of the Premier League season.
The 24-year-old travelled with Jurgen Klopp’s squad to Marbella for a training camp ahead of the showpiece event in Madrid this Saturday, but he has been unable to fully recover in time to play a part this weekend.
According to the Daily Mail, it has now been confirmed that Keita has been ruled out of the Champions League final, as Klopp gave an update on his fitness in a pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
Klopp stated: “There’s no chance for Naby, but he’s progressing well. We will see how it works out for him in the Africa Cup of Nations.”
This latest news represents a significant blow for Liverpool ahead of their biggest match of the year, but they will be encouraged by their performances in Keita’s absence.
The Reds won all four of their games without the Guinean star and although he has been a key player for Klopp this season, they have more than enough strength in depth to cope at Wanda Metropolitano this Saturday.
Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner lined up in midfield against Barcelona in the second leg of Liverpool’s last four tie and they kept the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho quiet, while also setting up chances for Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum to score.
Klopp may favour such a set up once again against Tottenham, as he aims to bring a sixth European Cup back to Anfield at the second time of asking.
The 51-year-old also gave a more positive update on Roberto Firmino’s recovery from injury, confirming he will be in contention for a place in his final squad.
As per the Mail, Klopp added: “Bobby was part of training last week and will be a part again tomorrow and he’s looking good so he will be part of the final I’m sure.”
Liverpool reached the final last season only to be beaten comfortably by Real Madrid, but they are hot favourites to lift the trophy this time around given their exploits in the Premier League over the last ten months.
The Reds finished just a point behind champions Manchester City in the final standing after a thrilling title race and they managed to beat Spurs home and away over the course of the campaign.
Keita has played his part during Liverpool’s run to the final, but unfortunately, he must watch on from the stands as his teammates target European glory in Madrid.