Jürgen Klopp doubts Szoboszlai will be fit in time for Carabao Cup final | Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp has cast doubt on Dominik Szoboszlai’s availability for the Carabao Cup final after the Liverpool midfielder sustained a recurrence of a muscle injury.
The Hungary captain missed last weekend’s defeat at Arsenal having returned to the starting lineup from a hamstring problem against Chelsea four days earlier. He will again be absent when Liverpool host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday and, owing to the repeat nature of the injury, there is no timescale on his return.
Klopp said there were doubts whether the influential midfielder would be fit to face Chelsea when the two sides meet again at Wembley on 25 February.
The Liverpool manager said: “Like with all these tendon things, pretty quickly the player is pain free and then it’s all about the muscle. It’s pretty much the same injury as he had before; obviously it’s really not good that he got that again. It didn’t feel a great issue but when you see the pictures you just have to take him out. We are fighting for days, if you want. Is it Brentford [next Saturday], is it the final, or is it after the final? I don’t know at the moment.”
Liverpool suffered another midfield blow when Thiago Alcântara sustained a muscle injury during his brief comeback at Arsenal after 10 months out with a hip problem. Klopp, who has Wataru Endo available again after Japan’s elimination from the Asian Cup, expects the unfortunate Thiago to feature before the end of the season.
Mohamed Salah remains sidelined by the hamstring injury that curtailed his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations. But Klopp is hopeful his leading goalscorer will be back in training before the Carabao Cup final.
He said: “Mo is going in the right direction. We hope, but we don’t know, that he can be a part of parts of training next week. He is going through all the paces now and it looks positive. It’s either next week or the week after. If you ask him, it’s next week.”
Klopp described Liverpool’s loss at the Emirates Stadium as “really painful”, in terms of the performance as well as the result, but does not expect doubt to creep into his squad now that Manchester City have a slight advantage in the title race.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Before we played Arsenal they were more or less out of form, [supposedly] out of the race, out of everything. They win the game and everything is great. We beat Chelsea a few days before and it really looked like: ‘Wow, Liverpool really goes for it this year.’ So it is not important and the last game is the least important if you want. The only thing you can use it for is to react.
“We have a tool box full of the right tools. We just have to use them and we didn’t do that properly at Arsenal. We just have to admit that. That is why, on top of the pure defeat, it was really painful that we couldn’t do that on that day. But now that was long ago and we have to try again.”