Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday that Liverpool could be without forward Darwin Nunez for their crunch Premier League clash at Arsenal this weekend. Nunez played the full 90 minutes as Liverpool defeated Chelsea 4-1 on Wednesday, but he left Anfield in a protective boot after suffering a foot injury. An X-ray on Thursday revealed that the Uruguayan’s foot did not break but remains so swollen that he cannot even put the boot on and is, therefore, a doubt for Sunday’s trip to north London.
Despite the striker’s misfortune in being hampered by the injury, Klopp has praised his attitude to play on through the pain barrier and maintains that he will be ready for Sunday’s game. “To be in the situation that he was and to continue to fight for his chance, to score goals – it is outstanding and a big praise,” he told reporters. “He hit the woodwork four times, including his penalty miss, but didn’t give up, which is extraordinary in football. “To do this with an injury shows so much more, and I am very proud of him. It is unbelievable.”
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The 24-year-old is expected to be assessed over the next 48 hours before a decision is made on whether to include him in the Liverpool squad for the visit of the Gunners. The Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium with an eight-point lead over Manchester City. Klopp has options in the center of defense, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both back in training following their injuries. At the same time, Joe Gomez is also fit again. In midfield, the Germans can choose from Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, who were impressed in the 4-1 win over Chelsea.
Klopp is unlikely to take any chances with Mohamed Salah’s fitness. The Egyptian continues to struggle with a hamstring problem but is set to train at the club again this week. The Egyptian hopes to return to action before the end of January, and it seems likely that he will make the trip to Arsenal in some capacity.
The Liverpool boss praised his side’s attitude to fight for their chances in his press conference before their trip to the Emirates Stadium. He praised his captain, Virgil Van Dijk, and highlighted the performances of Joe Gomez, Conor Bradley, and Dominik Szoboszlai, as the Reds looked like a threat to all opponents. “We have a good basis with the available players,” he said. “We have a perfect chance to make a big step this weekend and close the gap on Man City, who only have two games left.”