Liverpool haven’t enjoyed the best start to their Premier League campaign this season, dropping nine points over their first six outings, and this poor form hasn’t been exclusive to league performances.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s side also endured a disastrous start to their Champions League campaign, with a humiliating 4-1 defeat in Naples matching their joint-heaviest loss in the competition.
As such, it is safe to say that the German manager will be hoping that the extended break, alongside a number of his players returning from injury, will make a difference when they return to action against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.
Liverpool will host their first game at Anfield since September 13 when they welcome Roberto De Zerbi’s side on Saturday afternoon, and three points are non-negotiable for the Reds if they are to have any hope of competing for the title – as they currently sit eighth in the league.
As a result, it could be the perfect opportunity for Klopp to freshen up the team by deploying a different perspective in the back-line, with Ibrahima Konate finally available for selection following a pre-season injury that has seen him unavailable so far this term.
The talented 23-year-old Frenchman who was hailed an “absolute dream” by Phil Thompson proved his worth to Liverpool last season when he played a vital role in the team, stepping up when it mattered most – especially in the Champions League.
Konate found the back of the net twice in the prestigious competition, as well as offering a solid defensive presence, making 1.6 interceptions, two tackles and 2.9 clearances per game, in addition to winning 59% of his duels – with these returns earning a spot in the starting line-up against Real Madrid in the final.
It would be hard for Klopp to ignore the young centre-back’s record with Liverpool in the Premier League too, as Konate has not lost a single league game he has started since he joined the club in the summer of 2021.
With that being said, it could be a great chance for the 6-foot-3 defender to make his first appearance of the season, as he would undoubtedly terrify Brighton and could help Liverpool take a much-needed three points from the occasion.