Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he expects both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to return to the Africa Cup of Nations early in the Premier League match against Leicester City next Thursday.
Salah and Mane have both reached the AFCON finals with Egypt and Senegal respectively, and both will face off on the continent on Sunday evening.
Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup meeting with Cardiff, Klopp told a news conference that he hoped the match would be the last one without Mane and Salah.
“I think they will be found [against Leicester], but we will see,” he said. “The winner will probably fly away to return home to celebrate, usually that is.
“I think that on the second Tuesday or Wednesday, the winner will come back. Someone, maybe ahead of time. I’ll have to talk to them. Obviously they’ve played quite a few games, I’ll have to talk to them.”
He continued: “Great success, obviously, for both of them. The finals are very good. Naby [Keita] also played a unique tournament, but unfortunately was stopped in a crucial game. So far, it is a successful tournament for our boys.
“[Last] will be happy. One will be really happy and the other will be a little happier. Both have a good chance of achieving something really great.”
Klopp also confirmed that Harvey Elliott, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita will be in the Liverpool squad on Sunday after overcoming various injuries and illnesses, and also hinted that Divock Origi could return from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since early December.
It is not yet clear whether Luis Diaz, who signed in January, will play for Cardiff for the first time. The Colombian midfielder has yet to train with his new club and Klopp has urged him to be patient with the defender.
“When he arrives, he enters the stadium and he will be at his level and play better than everyone else, that would be really weird,” he said. “It takes time to get used to it. That doesn’t mean I’ve been talking for about four or five months, but I haven’t even seen him yet.
“We are very excited and excited to sign. I think it is a really good sign that we are working on all sides to develop this team, and how it stays in football, we have to succeed now and in the future, and he can help with both.”