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The German boss is sweating on the fitness of a prized asset as the Premier League gets back underway following the international break
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he will make a late decision on Mohamed Salah’s fitness ahead of a clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
Salah was forced to miss Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros over the last week, due to an ankle injury he has been struggling with in recent weeks.
The 27-year-old has played a key role in Liverpool’s rise to the Premier League summit this season, contributing six goals and three assists in 11 appearances to pick up from where he left off last term.
Salah’s latest goal came in a 3-1 win over defending champions Manchester City on November 10, which helped the Reds move eight points clear of Leicester and Chelsea at the top of the table.
Klopp’s side will be aiming to extend their advantage when they travel to Palace this weekend, but the Liverpool boss is not yet certain whether Salah will be able to take part.
“Yesterday he trained. He trained the whole time since he was here, but only the things we wanted him to do,” Klopp told a press conference on Friday.
“Today is another important session to see how it looks and we can make the decision. It’s not that it got worse but it’s still kind of there, that’s the problem. We have to be sensible with things like this.
“But I didn’t make the decision. If I would have made a decision, I probably wouldn’t have told you now, but it’s true I have to see the session today.”
Klopp went on to reveal that Virgil van Dijk will be available for selection after shaking off a knock, while also delivering an update on the fitness of Andrew Robertson and Joel Matip.
“At the moment, yes, Virgil is 100 per cent available,” the German head coach added.
“But it’s the time of the year when players get out of the squad overnight, unfortunately, with some other things – getting sick or ill or whatever.
“From the others, I cannot say 100 per cent, I don’t know 100 per cent. Today is a very important session to judge that, especially with the players who came back late.
“Fabinho and Bobby (Roberto Firmino) and Ali (Alisson) played on Tuesday, Gini Wijnaldum played on Tuesday, so we have these players where we really need to have a look at how they react and what makes sense for them or not.
“It’s always how it is with the first game after the international [break], we have to wait until the last second pretty much to make the decision. Nobody came back with a serious injury or something like that but we still have to look at how they are.”
After their latest Premier League outing, Liverpool will look ahead to a crucial Champions League meeting with Napoli at Anfield on Wednesday, with top spot in Group E still very much up for grabs.