Ibrahima Konate absence explained in latest Liverpool fitness setback

    Ibrahima Konate is missing for Liverpool’s final game before the World Cup, with another fitness issue impacting the lineup against Southampton today.

    Jurgen Klopp, who will manage his side from the stands after receiving a one-match touchline ban, has made 10 changes from the side that beat Derby in midweek.

    The only player to keep his place is Joe Gomez, who starts in the absence of both Konate and Joel Matip, with Nat Phillips the only reserve centre-back.

    Konate misses his 14th game of the season – the majority of which have been through injury – and according to Merseyside journalists including the Press Association‘s Carl Markham, it is due to a minor knock.

    It is the third setback for the 23-year-old already this campaign, though the suggestion is that his place in the France squad for the World Cup is not in jeopardy.

    In fact, the decision may have been made so as not to risk any longer-term issues, with Konate still having travelled to Anfield on Saturday.

    He will take a place behind the substitutes’ bench, watching his team-mates in their final game before a five-and-a-half-week break.

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 5 game between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 5 game between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda

    Also absent is Jordan Henderson, who has been granted personal leave, though there is no explanation forthcoming for Curtis Jones or Calvin Ramsay.

    Jones was not part of the rotated squad for the Carabao Cup third-round tie on Wednesday, having been expected to start, and has suffered a number of injury problems this season.

    Ramsay played the full 90 minutes on a busy night against Derby, and may simply have been omitted as Liverpool manage his fitness.

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