Africa Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Guinea determined to gamble with unfit Keita

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Guinea national football team midfielder Naby Keita might not be 100 percent fit to represent with country at the forthcoming 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, but head coach Paul Put is ready to take the gamble.

The 24-year-old Liverpool midfielder suffered an adductor muscle injury tear in a UEFA champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona in May.

Keita who was supposed to be out for eight weeks looks to be on a steady road to recovery and this is the reason why Put still has faith in him ahead of their warm-up game against Egypt.

“I put a lot of pressure on Liverpool to send him as soon as possible,” Put was quoted by

Naby Keita (15) celebrates a Guinea goal with a teammate during the qualifiers / Courtesy Image

“In the end, I said that if Naby does not come now, it will be difficult to put him on the list for the Africa Cup of Nations. He said he will play against Egypt,” he added.

Much as Put desperately hopes that Keita will be ready for the Nations Cup, the latter has admitted.

“I’m going to work now. I am not 100 percent but when I was in Liverpool, I started training with the ball,” Keita told

“As I’m here now I’m going to train with the team to see, to reassure the Guinean fans, the coach and the team-mates, I think I’ll be ready for the first match,” he noted.

Before his injury, Keita made 25 Premier League appearances in his first season at Liverpool, scoring two goals.

Guinea is in group B with Burundi, Nigeria and Madagascar, they will open up their Nations Cup against Madagascar on June 22nd before facing Nigeria and Burundi on June 26th and 30th respectively.

Guinea’s Final Squad

Goalkeepers: Naby Yattara (Excelsior, Reunion Island), Ibrahima Kone (Pau, France), Aly Keita (Ostersunds FK, Sweden).

Defenders: Fode Camara (Ajaccio, France), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Ernest Seka (Nancy, France), Simon Falette (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Ousmane Sidibe (Beziers, France), Baissama Sankoh (Caen, France), Mikael Dyrestream (AO Xanthi FC, Sweden), Julian Jeanvier (Brentford, England).

Midfielders: Amadou Diawara (Napoli Italy), Ibrahima Cisse (Fulham, England), Boubacar Fofana (Gaz Metan, Romania), Naby Keita (Liverpool, England), Mady Camara (Olympiakos, Greece)

Forwards: François Kamano (Bordeaux, France), Mohamed Yattara (Auxerre, France), Ibrahima Traore (Borussia M’Gladbach, Germany), José Kante (Gimnastic Tarragona, Spain), Idrissa Sylla (Zulte Waregem, Belgium), Fode Koita (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Sory Kaba (Dijon, France)

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