Key trio may miss Carabao Cup Final

Key trio may miss Carabao Cup Final

First-team stars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, and Dominik Szoboszlai are all in danger of missing the Carabao Cup Final through injury.

With the Carabao Cup Final against Chelsea less than two weeks away, several key players are in danger of missing the game due to injury.

Liverpool currently have nine players out injured, but Jurgen Klopp will be most concerned about three of his star players, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, and Dominik Szoboszlai still sidelined.  Speaking before, and after, the Burnley game on Saturday, Klopp gave updates on all three players, but couldn't give any guarantee that any of them would be fit to face Chelsea on the 25th of February.

Mo Salah and Dominik Szobolszlia were already missing from the Burnley game, but Trent Alexander-Arnold started the game at right-back.  Sadly, he only lasted 45 minutes and was withdrawn at half-time, after feeling a problem in his knee.  Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Klopp explained "Same area in the knee. Nothing really bad, but he felt it again and we have to see, we have to assess it.  Trent said it's fine, but it's not fine [because] he feels it so we had to be careful and took him off."

Hopefully, Liverpool were simply being cautious, but it is never good when a player has a recurring problem in the same area.  Trent missed 3 weeks of action during January, after injuring his knee, so we will have to wait and see how serious this new issue is.

Thankfully the injury did not cause the Reds too many problems during the Burnley game, but with Joe Gomez also missing due to illness, Klopp was forced to move Curtis Jones to right-back and bring on Elliott in midfield.  Both players performed admirably, but we would prefer not to have to repeat this tactical switch against Chelsea in the Final.

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Mo Salah still missing after AFCON injury

The news on Mo Salah is a little more positive, with our Egyptian King set to step up his training this week.  When asked for an update on Friday, Klopp confirmed, "Right direction. We hope, but we don't know, we hope that he can be [in] parts of training next week. But we have to see, he is going through all the phases now and it's positive. It's either next week or the week after."

Whether Salah will be able to reach full fitness before the Final is debatable, and even if he is passed fit, he would not be 'match fit'.  Our guess is that Salah will make the squad for the Final, but will only be used if Liverpool are trailing and needs a goal in the second half.  After waiting over a month for Salah to return, the last thing Klopp and Liverpool want is for the player to be injured again, by rushing him back early.  Although the Carabao Cup Final is important, Liverpool have plenty of other big games on the horizon, including Man City visiting Anfield in a few weeks, in a game that may just decide the fate of the Title race.

Szoboszlia most likely to make the Final

Of the three players mentioned, Szoboszlai is the most likely to return before the Final.  Like Arnold, Szoboszlia had only just returned from injury when he suffered a recurrence of his thigh problem, so Liverpool know they need to be careful.

Speaking on Friday, Klopp confirmed, "Dom is running outside and is not ready for tomorrow. We have to see. It's like [this] with these tendon things; pretty quickly, the player is pain-free. Is it Brentford, is it the [Carabao Cup] final, or is it after the final? I don't know at the moment."

It sounds like Szoboszlai is ready to step up his training, and may have a chance of featuring against Brentford this weekend.  It's unlikely Klopp will take that chance though, with Endo, Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott, and Gravenberch all able to play in midfield.  A much more likely scenario is Szoboszlia is given another week to prove his fitness, before making his return in the Final.

Check back with LFC - Back On Our Perch for more injury news and updates over the coming days and weeks.

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Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 556

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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