SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - Sunday, June 17, 2018: Egypt's Mohamed Salah during the pre-match warm-up before the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group A match between Russia and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mo Salah could miss 10 Liverpool games in 2024 – including Chelsea & Arsenal

Liverpool are to lose Mo Salah for up to a month next season, again, as Egypt take part in the Africa Cup of Nations.

On Wednesday night, Egypt secured their place at the 2024 AFCON and the next morning, the Premier League fixtures were released.

It is likely he will be absent for at least four Liverpool matches, as Egypt should progress to the knockout stages.

In 2022, Salah left for the tournament less than a week before its start date and the club could hope for the same this time around to limit his absence.

Though that may not be possible if the third round of FA Cup takes place as close to six days before the opening game of the tournament.

The total number of games missed could then rise to 10 during the tournament – if we take potential cup appearances and replays into account.

Matches Salah could miss for AFCON

ANN ARBOR, USA - Friday, July 27, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah signs an autograph on an Egypt flag for a supporter after a training session ahead of the preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at the Michigan Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • FA Cup third round – January 6/7
  • Potential League Cup semi-final 1st leg – January 9/10
  • Potential FA Cup third round replay – January 16/17
  • Potential League Cup semi-final 2nd leg – January 22/23
  • Potential FA Cup fourth round – January 27
  • Potential FA Cup fourth round replay – February 6/7

The tournament, hosted by the Ivory Coast, kicks off on January 13, the day Liverpool are scheduled to play Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium – which could be moved to the following weekend for the winter break.

The AFCON final is then set to take place on February 11.

On first look, it appears Salah will miss a good chunk of Liverpool’s games, but that is assuming Egypt go all the way to the final, which they did last time before losing on penalties to Sadio Mane‘s Senegal.

Apart from a potential League Cup semi-final, the standout fixtures that Salah would miss are against Chelsea and Arsenal.

Liverpool are scheduled to face Mauricio Pochettino’s team on January 31, and Arsenal just a few days later, giving Jurgen Klopp a selection headache.

Salah is arguably Liverpool’s most important outfield player and plays almost every game. This will leave the Reds searching for his backup.


Who could fill in?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 26, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Luis Díaz during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Villarreal CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The most likely solution is to play Luis Diaz or Diogo Jota on the right, but they are both right footed which eliminates Salah’s dangerous ability to cut inside onto his stronger left foot to shoot.

Ben Doak is the player most used to operating from the right and has excellent technique with both feet. He will still only be 18 years old by January, though, so Klopp may opt for a more experienced choice.

Harvey Elliott is another who has played on the right wing before and could be an option.

However, he doesn’t have the same level of acceleration that Liverpool’s attackers possess, and has played most of his football in midfield over the last 12 months.