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Liverpool soccer star Mohamed Salah in doubt for Carabao Cup final

UPI

Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Injured Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah's appearance is doubtful in the Reds' matchup with rival Chelsea in the 2024 Carabao Cup final, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders told reporters Friday.

"With Dominik [Szoboszlai], Darwin [Nunez] and Mo [Salah], we really have to see," Lijnders said of injured Liverpool players. "We have two more days, today's session, tomorrow's session and then last-minute.

"We will check if they can be there. It would be great, to be honest."

Salah, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, was a late first-half substitute in the Reds' 4-1 win over Brentford on Saturday in Brentford, England. He scored and logged an assist in that victory. Salah then missed the Reds' next game, a 4-1 win over Luton Town on Wednesday in Liverpool, England.

Salah sustained the initial hamstring injury Jan. 18 during an Africa Cup of Nations appearance for Egypt. He missed eight Liverpool games before returning to the Reds' lineup against Brentford.

Nunez, another forward, also played against Brentford, but missed the Luton Town match. Szoboszlai is dealing with a hamstring issue. The midfielder hasn't played since January.

Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), goalie Alisson Becker (leg muscle), midfielder Curtis Jones (ankle) and forward/midfielder Diogo Jota (knee) are among the Reds players already ruled out against Chelsea.

The Reds and Blues will meet at 10 a.m. EST Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. The final caps of the Carabao Cup -- also known as the EFL Cup -- which includes teams within each of the Top 4 levels of the English football system.

"We will need our full toolbox to defend them," Lijnders said of the Blues. "A good game always starts with respecting the strength of the opposition and defending them with all we have."