Jurgen Klopp: Two key decisions went against Liverpool in West Ham defeat
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Liverpool have received a welcome boost from the Egyptian FA, who agreed to bench Mohamed Salah for their final World Cup qualifier against Gabon. The Pharaohs’ place at Qatar 2022 has already been confirmed following the 2-2 draw with Angola last Friday, meaning there was little left to play for other than pride.
Egypt cruised to qualification as winners of Group F after proving too strong for Gabon, Libya and Angola on the road to next year’s tournament.
Like many other Premier League bosses, Jurgen Klopp has been chewing his fingernails since waving goodbye to his international players following the 3-2 defeat at West Ham.
He has already potentially lost Jordan Henderson to a minor problem after the Liverpool captain was sent home from the England squad.
Sadio Mane also picked up a knock in Senegal’s World Cup qualifier against Togo.
But thankfully, Egypt were not prepared to risk aggravating Klopp and decided to name Salah on the bench for the dead rubber against Gabon.
It means Salah is expected to be fresh for this weekend’s visit of Arsenal, where there will be extra responsibility resting on his shoulders.
Roberto Firmino is still sidelined with a hamstring injury but Mane is expected to be fit for the clash.
The jet-heeled former Southampton man was pictured back in training at Kirkby on Tuesday following his injury scare.
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Salah was last in action for Egypt on Friday against Angola when the game had to be stopped on three separate occasions due to pitch invaders.
The mischievous chancers were desperate to get close to Salah, who was mobbed by fans during three different incidents.
History suggests Salah does like to play against Arsenal having found the net against the Gunners on seven occasions.
He has only won six of his 11 outings though, drawing twice and losing three times, a record he will be looking to improve this weekend.
Gabon are also believed to have handed Arsenal a boost ahead of the Premier League showdown.
That’s because they reportedly agreed to let Aubameyang return home to north London before the final qualifier against Egypt.
Aubameyang flew to Alexandria with the squad but then boarded a private charter plane back to the UK.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping to have his captain feeling fresh ahead of the trip to Merseyside as Arsenal look to extend their unbeaten run.
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