Liverpool have been dealt a potential blow as Naby Keita has been ruled out of their clash with Everton in the Merseyside derby this weekend.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Keita is not available for selection and will remain sidelined, along with fellow midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Speaking to Liverpool’s website, Klopp gave an update on Keita’s situation. “That’s it, pretty much. Naby will not be ready. Apart from that, long-term of course, Oxlade-Chamberlain is not and so on, but they all came back healthy from the internationals.”

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BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND – Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Liverpool’s Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

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Naby Keita reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 on international duty and his absence could be linked to that news, with the midfielder needing more time to recover.

ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT 

Keita’s early season form suggests that this may not be a huge blow to Liverpool’s team. He has struggled in the opening four Premier League matches and has averaged a WhoScored rating of just 6.33, failing to complete 90 minutes in any of them.

In the four games, Keita has registered a meagre two tackles and three interceptions, whilst only providing one key pass for his teammates in the final third. He has also been dispossessed seven times and dribbled past six times, showing that he has been slightly off the boil so far this season.

This means that losing Keita for this match might not affect Liverpool negatively, as long as the player coming in for him can produce a good performance. Thiago and Jordan Henderson could be contenders to come into the team alongside Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho, so it will be down to them to step up and help the Reds overcome the current league leaders Everton.

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