(Reuters) – Injured Liverpool playmakers Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah are doubtful for Friday’s FA Cup match against Merseyside rivals Everton after missing their side’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley on Monday, manager Juergen Klopp has said.
Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer who has notched 17 goals in 21 games, missed the trip to Burnley with a groin strain. The Brazilian Coutinho, who has netted seven goals in 14 league matches, was ruled out due to a thigh injury.
“Phil are Mo are injured, not massively but enough for today (to be) no chance. And (they are) a doubt, at least a doubt, for Everton,” Klopp told reporters after the dramatic victory.
Sadio Mane was the only one of Liverpool’s “Fab Four” to start against Burnley, and the Senegal international along with Egyptian Salah will travel to attend the Confederation of African Football awards in Ghana on Thursday.
Klopp has no worries about his key attacking players travelling on the night before the Everton game, saying that he respected the prolific duo’s decision to attend the ceremony.
“We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect. If it had been a match day, they wouldn’t have asked,” Klopp said.
“We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference… If Mo is not fit (for the Everton game), it will not be for that. For our side, it is just a sign of respect.”
The German boss also said newly-signed defender Virgil van Dijk would not be rushed into action for Liverpool as the Merseyside club’s aim to get the Dutchman match ready.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)