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Europa League | Quarter-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 18, 2024 at 8pm UK
Gewiss Stadium
Liverpool logo

0 - 1

Hien (43'), Koopmeiners (77'), Zappacosta (90+1'), Zappacosta (90+1')
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Salah (7' pen.)

Jurgen Klopp confirms Liverpool defender out until May through injury

Klopp confirms Liverpool defender out until May through injury
© Reuters
Jurgen Klopp confirms that Liverpool defender Conor Bradley will miss the rest of April with the foot injury he sustained in Sunday's Premier League loss to Crystal Palace.

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that he will be without one of his fledgling defenders for a couple of weeks due to injury.

Young right-back Conor Bradley came off three minutes into the second half of Sunday's 1-0 Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace, having suffered a painful foot problem.

The Northern Ireland international headed straight down the tunnel after being assessed by medics, and reports earlier this week claimed that he could spend nearly a month in the infirmary.

Bradley was unsurprisingly not seen in training on Wednesday ahead of the Reds' Europa League trip to Atalanta BC on Thursday, nor was he included in the travelling party for the quarter-final second leg.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp revealed that Bradley had managed to avoid a severe injury, but the 20-year-old would still need a couple of weeks to recover, saying: "[He] overstretched the ligaments, not serious serious but serious enough that he's not here.

Liverpool's Conor Bradley reacts after sustaining an injury on April 14, 2024© Reuters

"I think Ryan Gravenberch had a similar thing, so first week of May he [Bradley] should be back in training. When is that? Two weeks' time."

What Liverpool games will Conor Bradley miss?

With Bradley sidelined for the remainder of the month, the effervescent youngster - who has enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Reds' XI thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's injury woes - will sit out at least four games.

As well as the imminent Europa League showdown with Atalanta, Bradley will be unavailable for a trio of Premier League matches, firstly the trip to mid-table Fulham on April 21.

In addition, Bradley must take his place on the sidelines for the Merseyside derby with Everton at Goodison Park on April 24, three days before a showdown with West Ham United in the capital, which he will seemingly sit out too.

If Liverpool can pull off an astounding turnaround against Atalanta, Bradley may also miss the first leg of any semi-final on May 2, but he could realistically target a return for the home fixture with Tottenham Hotspur on May 5.

Klopp recalls 'beautiful failure' Barcelona message ahead of Atalanta mission

Liverpool's Conor Bradley, Andrew Robertson, Jarell Quansah and Alexis Mac Allister walk at half time on April 7, 2024© Reuters

A Bradley-less Liverpool arrive in Bergamo needing to make up a 3-0 deficit after last week's harrowing first-leg loss, but epic European comebacks are nothing new for the Reds, who turned around an identical first-leg disadvantage against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League.

Klopp admitted that he has no lengthy motivational speeches planned for his troops, but if his side are to bow out, he wants to witness a "beautiful" failure rather than exiting with a whimper.

"What I remember from that time [against Barcelona] is I usually don't prepare these kind of things like that, especially not a day before or four years before or whatever," the Reds boss added.

"What I will say to the boys I will think about tomorrow, but definitely nothing about these kind of things were said in the press conference before. I remember I said if we fail then let's fail in the most beautiful way – and that's exactly how I see it again.

"But, I said it already, we want to win the game – and if we want to win the game then we better play good. If we play good we have a chance to win it and then we will see. It is exactly like that."

History is not on Liverpool's side, though, as from the 132 previous occasions where a team has won the first leg of a UEFA Cup/Europa League tie by at least three goals away from home, the triumphant travellers have advanced on all 132 occasions.

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Liverpool's Conor Bradley, Andrew Robertson, Jarell Quansah and Alexis Mac Allister walk at half time on April 7, 2024
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