Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk are highly unlikely to face Southampton but Liverpool are hopeful of the duo being fit for the Champions League final a week on Saturday, it has been claimed. The duo both sustained knocks in the FA Cup triumph against Chelsea as the Reds secured a domestic cup double.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won 6-5 on penalties after failing to score inside 120 minutes but Salah, Van Dijk and Andy Robertson all had to be withdrawn at Wembley due to injuries. Salah’s was the most worrying as he trudged off just half an hour in while Van Dijk was taken off before extra time. Robertson’s issue was merely muscle cramp.
Egypt’s Salah however suffered a more worrying groin problem though Klopp revealed post-match that the winger had said he could carry on if needed. The German had a similar conversation with Van Dijk but while he saw out the 90 minutes, the Dutchman was precautionarily taken off before the extra 30 minutes with Joel Matip replacing him.
The Daily Mirror report that neither of the pair are expected to be risked when Liverpool face Southampton at St Mary’s on Tuesday night. The Merseyside outfit know victory there would move them one point behind leaders Manchester City ahead of the final day of the season.
City drew 2-2 at West Ham 24 hours after Liverpool’s FA Cup final success to offer Klopp and co fresh hope of lifting the club’s 20th league championship this weekend. But they must first trim the gap by winning at Southampton. And they will have to do so without key players Salah and Van Dijk as Liverpool seek not to risk exacerbating the issues they felt against Chelsea.
Van Dijk said post-match: “I felt in the 1st half when I sprinted, I felt a twinge behind my knee, I played on. Hopefully it will be fine.” While Salah declared in the mixed zone when asked if he’ll be fit for the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28: “Of course.”
Klopp is likely to make several changes to the team knowing that Wolves await at Anfield on Sunday, with the heavyweight clash with Real Madrid coming in Paris six days later as Liverpool seek to win a seventh European Cup.
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Matip is almost guaranteed to return to the starting XI on the south coast while Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are others who will fancy their chances of starting.
It is unclear if Salah or Van Dijk will be fit to face Wolves but it is anticipated they will be fit for the trip to the French capital. Liverpool also expect defensive midfielder Fabinho will return at the Stade de France. The Brazilian was forced off early in the midweek win over Aston Villa last week but Klopp has declared he will “definitely be back” to face his former club Los Blancos.
If Liverpool win against Southampton, they will need three points against Wolves on Sunday and will also require a favour from former captain Steven Gerrard. The Liverpudlian takes Aston Villa to the Etihad to face City and a draw, and a Liverpool win, would be enough to see Klopp’s side crowned champions.