Ahead of welcoming Barcelona to Anfield on Tuesday night, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that attacking talisman Mohamed Salah will be sidelined with a concussion.
Suffering a heavy collision with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka in the Reds’ 3-2 win over Newcastle on Saturday, the Egyptian international had to be substituted in the 73rd minute with a head injury.
The former Chelsea man required extensive treatment on the pitch but was able to watch the remainder of the game in the dressing room.
Despite being seen walking out of the ground, Salah will be forced to miss Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final second-leg tomorrow.
Sadly for fans on Merseyside, Klopp also confirmed that the Premier League title challengers will also be unable to call upon another of their most important attacking options.
After missing their trip to St. James’ Park on Saturday evening, Roberto Firmino will also be unavailable due to a muscle injury.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 6, 2019
Now unable to call upon both Salah and Firmino, Liverpool face an unenviable task if they’re to reach back-to-back Champions League finals.
Spearheaded by Lionel Messi’s inspired performance at the Nou Camp last week, the Argentian’s brace helped Barcelona secure a commanding 3-0 victory heading into Tuesday’s second-leg.
If Liverpool are to pull off a remarkable turnaround against the Spanish heavyweights on Tuesday, Salah’s absence will undeniably be a huge miss for Klopp.
Refinding his form at the back end of the season, the 26-year-old has bagged six in his last eight across all competitions and his 22 top-flight goals see him leading the race to retain the Golden Boot.
Speaking to Spanish media ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League showdown, Klopp confirmed that both of his attacking stars will be unavailable for selection in midweek.
“Two of the world’s best strikers are not available tomorrow night and we have to score four goals,”
“It doesn’t make life easier but as long as we will try for 90 minutes to celebrate the Champions League campaign to give it a proper finish.
“That’s the plan. If we can do it, wonderful. If we can’t do it, let’s fail in the most beautiful way.”
While last year’s PFA Player of the Year will be forced to watch from the sidelines, the former Borussia Dortmund coach did announce that Salah is feeling “OK” and is expected to feature this weekend.
‘It’s a concussion. That means he will not even be allowed to play, so that’s it, that’s all.
‘He feels OK, but that’s not good enough from a medical point of view. He’s desperate, but he cannot play. [Is he okay for the weekend?] Yeah.’
Salah will not be able to take part in full training until Saturday due to concussion protocols that are in place to stop players from suffering from serious long-term problems.
While Liverpool did manage to snatch a last-gasp winner at St. James’ Park over the weekend, Klopp’s side are chasing a two-point deficit in the race to clinch in their first Premier League title.
After hosting the defending Spanish champions at Anfield on Tuesday, the Reds will welcome fellow European hopefuls Wolves to Merseyside for their final league appearance of the season.