Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted that three of his ‘Fab Four’ could be unavailable for the FA Cup third tie against Everton on Friday. But Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho missed Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Burnley on Monday due to injury.
Sadio Mane was the only member of the ‘Fab Four’ to start the game and open the scoring for the Reds, while Roberto Firmino made a substitute appearance in the second-half at Turf Moor. After a positive result at Burnley which helps the Reds keep in touch with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, they now swiftly turn their attention to the FA Cup tie against Merseyside rivals Everton later this week.
However, Klopp could be without Salah, Coutinho and Mane for contrary reasons. The Liverpool manager confirmed Coutinho is a “doubt” to face Everton while both Salah and Mane will fly to Ghana in order to attend the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) player of the year award, just 24 hours before Liverpool host Sam Allardyce’s Everton.
Both Liverpool players have been shortlisted for the player of the year award, alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Klopp claims he couldn’t stand in the way of the duo attending the important ceremony in Accra.
“We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect,” Klopp was quoted in a report by Sky Sports.
“If it had been a matchday they wouldn’t have asked, but the night before is fine. We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference, the modern world.”
Salah, who scored the goal that took Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990 as well as 23 in 29 appearances for Liverpool this season, won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award in December.
The 25-year-old missed Liverpool’s game against Burnley with a slight groin injury and Klopp says he is a doubt for the meeting with Everton regardless of his travel.
“If Mo is not fit, it will not be for that (travelling),” Klopp added. “For our side, it is just a sign of respect. I had (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang (at Borussia Dortmund) and there is nothing more important than to go there.”
Presumably, Klopp will make a host of changes against Everton and aim to get into the next round of FA Cup.
“7-0”, “9-0” – Some Liverpool fans certain of a huge win over Red Star Belgrade
Liverpool take on Red Star Belgrade in an important Champions League clash on Wednesday. The Reds started the campaign well with a 3-2 win over PSG, however, the loss against Napoli means we have to beat the Serbians.
Red Star won’t be easy to play as they held Napoli to a draw. Playing at home will give us a boost as we look to get the three points.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 22, 2018
The Reds’ attack hasn’t clicked this season with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino not ripping defences for fun.
The Egyptian scored in our narrow win over Huddersfield while Mane and Firmino haven’t scored for a while.
The Liverpool fans were in great spirits ahead of the game, and many believed a big win is on the cards for the Reds.
A BIG WIN COME ON REDS
— Enjoy your life (@english4alu) October 22, 2018
— Kenny Peng (@KenlfcTO) October 22, 2018
9-0. I believe in you guys
— Jamie (@jamiekop227) October 22, 2018
Liverpool - Red Star Belgrade
— Abel Axel Hernandez (@abel_axel_hdz) October 22, 2018
3-0 based on our peformance the past few matches.
— JeremyChng (@areskchng91) October 22, 2018
Liverpool will win
— Sharif PL (@sharif_pl) October 22, 2018
A must win for us… We are liverpool #kop
— George Ak (@IamAkajas) October 22, 2018
Good luck. Fighting and winning YNWA
— Maik Loss (@maikloss) October 22, 2018
Sure three points for the reds
— Rich A. Erekake (@richaerekake) October 22, 2018
A BIG WIN COME ON REDS ❣️❣️❣️
— WanboSports万博体育 (@wanbosports) October 22, 2018
This is going to be a cracker of a game.. hope Mo Bobby and Sturridge get a goal each 😉👍
— Jay (@Jay10867457) October 22, 2018
This is a vital match. Must win really.
— JOAKIM 🇸🇪 (@JAckelmante) October 22, 2018
Liverpool receive huge injury boost ahead of crunch Red Star Belgrade clash
The Senegalese forward injured his thumb during the international break and was rested in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield.
The report adds that Jurgen Klopp could have played the former Southampton player against the Terriers. However, the decision was left to Mane and the Reds star decided not to risk it.
Mane underwent successful surgery on his thumb, as per the report, and should be in line to start for the Reds.
Liverpool are second in their Champions League group ahead of Paris Saint-Germain on the head-to-head basis.
The Reds cannot afford to drop points against Red Star as our final group games are against PSG and Napoli. Liverpool lost to the Italians a couple of weeks ago, while Red Star held the Serie A club to a draw early on.
Liverpool struggled to score in our previous game as we defeated Huddersfield by a solitary Mohamed Salah goal. Mane should provide us with greater attacking threat and we could see a strong Liverpool team come out on Wednesday.
Winning the two clashes against Red Star is extremely important and we cannot afford to take these games lightly as our Champions League progression isn’t a guarantee.
Mane and Firmino to start? – Predicted Liverpool line-up to face Red Star Belgrade
Liverpool play Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League at Anfield, and we need the three points against the Serbians.
The loss against Napoli in the last CL game makes the two clashes against Red Star extra important. The Reds are in great form in the Premier League and won their last game against Huddersfield.
There are a few injury concerns for the Reds as Jordan Henderson was subbed in the previous game. Jurgen Klopp should tinker with his XI as we should have enough quality to beat the Serbs. It will be an electric atmosphere at Anfield on Wednesday, and here is our predicted line-up for the game.
Predicted Liverpool XI
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Alisson Becker (GK)
The Brazilian must start since he is one of the best in the world. Alisson kept a clean sheet in our last game and would want another shut-out against Red Star.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB)
TAA wasn’t played at the weekend, but his attacking runs will be important as we look to breakdown the Red Star defence.
Joe Gomez (CB)
Gomez should be shifted to his preferred central role, as we could rest Virgil van Dijk.
Dejan Lovren (CB)
The Croatian has looked good since returning to the team. Lovren could start in the heart of the defence alongside Gomez.
Alberto Moreno (LB)
Andy Robertson needs a bit of a break. Although Moreno isn’t the most consistent player, he could get a game on Wednesday.
The Brazilian looked decent in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield and could get a start against Red Star.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM)
Wijnaldum replaced Hendo in the Huddersfield game and should continue his role in the Liverpool midfield.
Xherdan Shaqiri (CM)
Shaqiri played a deeper role against Huddersfield and could line-up in a similar fashion at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah (RW)
The Egyptian got the only goal of the game against the Terriers, and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t start on Wednesday. Salah could play 60 minutes or so as we look to ensure a win.
Roberto Firmino (ST)
Firmino didn’t start against Huddersfield and came off the bench. The Brazilian hasn’t clicked this season but could do well alongside Salah and Mane.
Sadio Mane (LW)
The Senegal star could play with a cast on his hand. We haven’t been great in attack, but this game could be the one that sees us score a ton of goals.
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