MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Ibrahima Konate hints at Liverpool return with behind-the-scenes footage

Ibrahima Konate is expected to return for Liverpool in Saturday’s clash with Man City, with the centre-back eyeing a “big week incoming” after recovery.

Konate missed the 3-0 win over Brentford and subsequently pulled out of the France squad this month due to a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old aggravated an existing problem in the warmup to Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat to Toulouse at the start of the month, needing treatment during the break.

But This Is Anfield understands he is expected to be fit for the trip to Man City this weekend, along with Ryan Gravenberch, Curtis Jones and Joe Gomez.

This has been backed up by footage shared by Konate from the break, with the Frenchman working with a personal physio during time off.

Konate underwent strength and conditioning training, and was able to return to running outdoors as he steps up his rehabilitation.

That will have continued upon his return to the AXA Training Centre this week, having been among the first to report back along with the likes of Jones and goalkeeper Adrian.

“No days off,” Konate wrote on Instagram. “Big week incoming.”

It remains to be seen whether the No. 5 will start the 12.30pm kickoff at the Etihad, with Joel Matip another option to partner Virgil van Dijk.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 21, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté is replaced by Joël Matip during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 243rd Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Matip impressed as Liverpool kept a clean sheet against Brentford last time out, and like Konate was not on duty this month having long since retired with Cameroon.

Given the output required against Man City, it seems more likely that Jurgen Klopp will opt for Matip alongside Van Dijk, with Konate coming back off an injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas are certain starters at full-back, while Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai are likely to start in midfield with one of Jones or Gravenberch.

An in-form Darwin Nunez should join Mohamed Salah in attack, with Klopp to decide between Diogo Jota or Luis Diaz on the left flank.