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Monday 15 Apr 2024
NI Player Watch | Weekend review

Liverpool defender Conor Bradley suffered an ankle injury at the weekend as Liverpool’s Premier League title ambitions were dealt a blow following an unexpected home defeat to Crystal Palace.

After being an unused substitute in the 3-0 Europa League defeat to Atalanta in midweek, the 20-year-old returned to the starting line-up for Sunday’s Anfield clash with Crystal Palace. 

However, just three minutes into the second half Bradley sustained an ankle injury after a tackle on Palace forward Eberechi Eze. 

At his post-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp said: “How it is on these days, something like that happens as well.

“Conor overstretched his foot slightly. The first moment and what Conor felt didn’t look great, [but] now I heard a little bit that it’s settled quite quickly.

“I don’t know. Is the ligament damaged or not? I don’t know, so we will get this information tomorrow or Tuesday, but it was very painful for him so that’s not cool.” 

Meanwhile, in the EFL Championship, Trai Hume and Daniel Ballard again started for Sunderland, who ended a run of three games without a win with a 1-0 success against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. 

“It probably wasn’t our best performance as a team,” said Ballard. “But we’ve been a lot better defensively recently. Obviously that’s five clean sheets in six games now so as a defender I am pleased with that.

“We’ve had a few draws recently, so yeah just keep going, score a few more goals, keep the clean sheets and have a strong end to the season.”

Defender Paddy McNair was still absent from the Middlesbrough team, while his fellow international Ali McCann picked up a thigh strain which ruled him out of Preston North End’s home reverse to Norwich City on Saturday. 

“We will just keep monitoring him and see how he is,” said Preston manager Ryan Lowe. “He felt something in the last game and we had him scanned because we were cautious. He said he felt fine and up to now he still feels okay.” 

There was positive news though for Michael O’Neill over the weekend with the return to action of Kilmarnock midfielder Brad Lyons who came on as a substitute in the 2-0 victory over St Johnstone after missing the last three months with a knee injury. 

On the goalscoring front Cameron McGeehan bagged his 10th goal of the season in Colchester United’s 3-2 victory at Crawley Town in League Two and substitute Megan Bell scored for Hearts in their 2-0 SWPL derby win over Hibernian. 

Elsewhere, Casey Howe continued her fine form this season with two goals and an assist in Athlone Town’s 3-1 win over Peamount United in the Airtricity Women’s Premier Division. 

Speaking to TG4 after the game the Enniskillen woman said: “I’m buzzing, they’re the champions coming down here. We needed to put on a performance and I think that’s what we did. 

“We could have had more goals as well so I couldn’t have asked more of the girls and just to get three points is massive.”

In League One, Portsmouth’s 1-1 draw at Bolton Wanderers means that Paddy Lane, Gavin Whyte and Terry Devlin could be celebrating automatic promotion to the Championship if the South Coast outfit secure a point at home to Barnsley tomorrow (Tuesday) night. 

Finally, there were assists for Shayne Lavery (Blackpool), Jamie Reid (Stevenage), Kofi Balmer (AFC Wimbledon) and Kilmarnock striker Kyle Vassell.