Guinea have suffered a major blow at the Africa Cup of Nations as midfielder Naby Keita seems to have suffered an injury in the recent games at the tournament. Guinea’s latest match saw them secure a 2-0 win over Burundi, , good news for anyone who followed the sports betting advice. The victory in this group B match has ensured a place in the knockout stages for Guinea. However, the nation may have to do without Keita for the remainder of the tournament.
The 24-year-old was already short of match fitness when he came into the tournament. He did not start in the first game against Madagascar, but he did make an appearance as a substitute. Keita was involved in the game against Nigeria, but he failed to feature for the full 90 minutes. After sitting out of the game against Burundi, it has been decided not to take a risk with the midfielder, who has now returned to Liverpool in order to assess the situation.
Guinea have picked up four points from the three group matches. As a result, the team have been able to last 16 round game on Friday. Guinea will play winners from the group D. So far, the qualifying teams are hosts Egypt, Madagascar, Uganda, Algeria, Nigeria, and Morocco.
Keita’s presence at the tournament has been short lived largely due to the physical approach from Nigeria, according to Guinea’s press officer. The heavy challenges put on by the Nigerians seem to have affected the midfielder, who started only 16 league matches for Liverpool last season. In a season that was set to provide a lot of opportunity for the midfielder to shine in English, he was unable to overcome his injury problems and feature regularly for a team that did extremely well by winning the Champions League.
Keita has been at Liverpool since 2018 after making the switch from RB Leipzig for around £50 million. Liverpool supporters are yet to see the full impact of Keita, as he has been slowly infused into the English league.
Meanwhile, Keita is a huge start for the Guinea national team. After making his debut for the national team in 2013, the 24-year-old has gone on to make 33 appearances. Never been a renowned scorer, Keita has been able to score only five goals. Interestingly, the midfielder has featured in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations only once in his career – against Ghana in the 2015 edition.
Guinea already had their fingers crossed about the participation of Keita in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019, as the midfielder picked up a major injury while playing in the Champions League semifinals. Even though he has taken part in training and played some games, Guinea medical officer has confirmed that the player has been playing through a pain barrier. As expected from a player who is not 100% fit, the impact has been significantly lower.
Even if Keita returns from Liverpool with the go-ahead to take part in the forthcoming knockout stage, it is unlikely that he will feature for the full 90 minutes.