Explanation provided for Naby Keita’s absence from Liverpool squad to take on West Brom

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Naby Keita & Andre Gomes

An explanation for Naby Keita’s complete omission from Liverpool’s matchday squad to take on West Bromwich Albion has this evening been forthcoming.

Liverpool vs West Brom

Jurgen Klopp’s men are set to get the defence of their title back underway shortly.

The Reds will welcome Sam Allardyce’s West Brom to Anfield, for their first post-Christmas Premier League outing.

Liverpool head into proceedings aware that a win would see them open up a 5-point gap over the chasing pack atop the English top-flight table, amid a stellar recent spell of form.

The Merseysiders’ last outing saw them run riot at Selhurst Park, to eventually down Crystal Palace by a staggering seven goals to nil.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Roberto Firminho of Liverpool celebrates with Mohamed Salah after scoring their sides fifth goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on December 19, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: Roberto Firminho of Liverpool celebrates with Mohamed Salah after scoring their sides fifth goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on December 19, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images)

West Brom, on the other hand, saw life post-Slaven Bilic get off to an altogether underwhelming start in their own prior fixture, when the Baggies crumbled to a 3-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa.

‘A little bit injured’

As such, it almost goes without saying that it is the hosts who enter this evening’s exchanges at Anfield as favourites to emerge with all 3 points.

The XI tasked with getting the better of West Brom, meanwhile, was revealed a short time ago, with Jurgen Klopp having opted for two changes to the side which so impressed en route to victory at Palace.

First, Mohamed Salah returns to starting duties, at the expense of Takumi Minamino.

Curtis Jones is also handed his latest midfield berth, in place of Naby Keita:

Whilst Keita’s exclusion from Liverpool’s starting XI this evening has not come as too much of a shock, though, what has is his complete absence from the Reds’ matchday squad.

The Guinean impressed at Selhurst Park last weekend, having returned from a previous spell on the sidelines.

It will therefore no doubt come as a major source of concern to hear that Keita’s omission versus West Brom has in fact come on the back of yet another fitness problem for the midfielder.

Speaking ahead of kick-off on Merseyside, Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Keita is ‘a little bit injured’, though no further insight was provided into the extent of the 25-year-old’s issue:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 14 17 31
2 Everton FC 15 7 29
3 Leicester City FC 15 9 28
4 Manchester United FC 14 7 27
5 Manchester City FC 14 9 26
6 Aston Villa FC 13 14 25
7 Chelsea FC 15 13 25
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 14 11 25
9 Southampton FC 15 6 25
10 West Ham United FC 15 2 22
11 Leeds United 15 -5 20
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 14 -5 20
13 Newcastle United FC 14 -7 18
14 Crystal Palace FC 15 -9 18
15 Arsenal FC 15 -4 17
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 15 -6 13
17 Burnley FC 14 -12 13
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 14 -19 7
20 Sheffield United FC 15 -18 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 9
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 7
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 6
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 6
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 5
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 5
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Adams, Che Southampton FC 4

Source: 101greatgoals.com