Jurgen Klopp has allayed concerns over the fitness of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool’s Champions League final clash against Real Madrid on May 28 by saying both players are ‘good enough’ after being substituted during the FA Cup final penalty shootout win against Chelsea.
Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer with 30 goals this season, limped out of the Cup final after just 33 minutes with a groin injury, while centre-half Van Dijk did not appear for the extensions due to a muscular problem.
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Both players entered the pitch at the end of the game as the rest of Klopp’s players ran in celebration after Kostas Tsimikas scored the decisive spot-kick in the 6-5 penalty shoot-out win.
But although Klopp said Salah and Van Dijk were unlikely to feature in Tuesday’s Premier League game against Southampton at St Mary’s, the Liverpool manager was more optimistic about the extent of their injuries.
“I think [Salah, Van Dijk] are pretty good,” Klopp told ESPN’s Alexis Nunes. “I don’t think they’ll be ready for Tuesday, to be honest…I don’t think they would have been ready for Tuesday anyway!
“But I think they are fine, it was more of a precaution. Mo felt something, said I could go on and I had to make a decision, I said no…if you feel anything on the ground, it’s not going to get better [if you keep playing]staying is not the best treatment!
“With Virgile it was clearer: 90 minutes yes, 120 minutes no.
“But what a situation, you bring Joel Matip! Oh my god! That’s really cool. So, it’s all good.”
Asked by reporters as he left the stadium if he would be fit for the Champions League final, Salah replied: “Of course.”
Liverpool have now won two trophies this season – the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup – and are still chasing Premier League and Champions League glory.
And captain Jordan Henderson says Liverpool are now solely focused on winning their final games of the campaign.
“We’ve won two so far this season,” Henderson said. “We still have some big games left. We just have to keep going until the end and see what we can finish on.
“We need to recover quickly, another big game on Tuesday against Southampton, we need to be ready for that. And then Wolves at the weekend to finish the Premier League season and then the Champions League final.
“We have three big games left and hopefully we can win all three and end the season with a bang.”