Jurgen Klopp 'Not Too Worried About' Mohamed Salah Amid Injury Concerns

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2019

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah attends a team training session at Melwood in Liverpool, north west England on November 4, 2019, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group E football match against Genk. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah's ongoing ankle injury isn't weighing on Jurgen Klopp's mind. Instead, the Liverpool chief played down any fitness concerns about his star forward ahead of the Reds facing Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Klopp told reporters: "Mo looks really good. We'll see today but I'm not too worried about it," per James Dale of Sky Sports.

Liverpool's main man up top has been dealing with a troublesome ankle since a tough challenge from Hamza Choudhury during a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League back in October.

While he played and scored during a recent 3-1 win over Manchester City, Salah was subbed off after appearing to tweak the problem. He didn't come off the bench during Saturday's hard-fought 2-1 win against Crystal Palace.

The Egypt international being fit enough to start at Anfield on Wednesday would be a huge boost since the Reds can guarantee qualifying first in Group E with a win. Qualification to the knockout round can also be assured if FC Salzburg fail to beat Genk.

Liverpool need to be at full strength against a Napoli side capable of causing them problems, despite some struggles domestically. The Naples-based outfit is seventh in Serie A, 15 points behind leaders Juventus.

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However, Napoli are also the only team to have beaten Liverpool this season, winning 2-0 on home soil back in September. Carlo Ancelotti is under pressure in the dugout, but the 60-year-old knows what it takes to thrive in the Champions League, having won the trophy three times during spells with AC Milan and Real Madrid.

Understandably, the Italian has been defiant about his current situation:

Liverpool are the holders after Klopp claimed the prize last season, and the German thinks Napoli will put any distractions behind them to pose a stern test on Merseyside, per BBC Sport: "They are a really good football team and now they're not in Italy, they feel maybe relief they can play in this game. We have to be ready for that."

It took a nervy 1-0 win over Napoli for the Reds to reach the knockout phase in the previous campaign, with Salah netting the decisive goal. The 27-year-old has already scored three times and provided two assists in this season's competition.

Klopp has options if Salah isn't fit enough to start. He could deploy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wide right or add versatile striker Divock Origi to the forward line.

Yet Klopp will surely feel more confident having his primary goalscorer available against tough opposition with top spot and a potentially easier draw for the last 16 at stake.

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