Jurgen Klopp insisted Tuesday night’s clash between Southampton and Liverpool will come too soon for Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, though allayed fears over an extended absence.
Liverpool have been handed fresh hope in their quest for the quadruple. Man City’s draw with West Ham on Sunday left the door slightly ajar. Two Reds wins against Southampton and Wolves, combined with a City draw on final day against Aston Villa, would see Klopp’s men crowned champions.
However, after a gruelling FA Cup final on Saturday that went to extra time and penalties, Klopp is poised to be without two of his biggest hitters tonight.
Liverpool travel to St. Mary’s to face Southampton and Klopp confirmed neither Salah or Van Dijk will feature.
Van Dijk complained of a twinge in his knee which resulted in his substitution against Chelsea when extra time came. Salah, meanwhile, was removed early after suffering groin tightness.
And in the second part of his pre-match press conference, Klopp confirmed both will be absent for the Saints trip, though stated facing Wolves on final day is a very real target.
Regardless, should the pair not return in time to face Bruno Lage’s men, Klopp was adamant he has “no doubt” they’ll both be fit for the Champions League final on May 28.
Salah, Van Dijk injury latest
Klopp said (via Liverpool’s official website): “No. Virg definitely not [against Southampton] but that was pretty much clear before the [Chelsea] game already that I thought, ‘OK, this is the game now.’
“He played really a lot and then Saturday-Tuesday again. It was clear.
“They are both OK. So, the target would be for both that they can be involved again on the weekend.
“Properly involved, bench or whatever and a few minutes or start. I don’t know, we will see that, because that would then be perfect for the game [Champions League final].
“But if not then we take each day afterwards. But we are very positive, or [have] no doubt about the final.
“I’m pretty realistic about the Wolves game, but tomorrow rather not.”