Liverpool strike Mohamed Salah agreement in huge boost for Chelsea Stamford Bridge clash

No Covid suspension for Premier League – reports

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Liverpool have received an early Christmas present from the Egyptian FA, with Mohamed Salah now set to be available for the December 2 trip to Chelsea. Most of the Premier League’s Africa Cup of Nations representatives will jet off to their respective camps between Christmas Day and New Year.

However, the Mirror report Liverpool have been granted permission to keep Salah until they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Many expected the 29-year-old to be a significant loss for Jurgen Klopp’s side in next week’s Premier League title six-pointer.

But Salah will be available to face his former side and extend his astonishing goal contribution tally this season.

He’ll then leave the Liverpool squad immediately after the clash with Thomas Tuchel’s men to feature as the headline act at the delayed 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.

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With FIFA regulations meaning players were obliged to link with their nations from December 27, Salah was a major doubt for the Reds’ crucial new year double at Leicester City and Chelsea.

AFCON kicks off on January 9, seven days after the affair in west London, but Egypt get their campaign underway with a mouthwatering tie against Nigeria on January 11.

Salah won’t be the only absentee Klopp will have to contend with, as Naby Keita and Sadio Mane are also expected to travel to the tournament.

But it’s currently unknown whether the Guinean and Senegalese footballing authorities will grant the pair the same treatment.

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After the Leicester and Chelsea games, the trio will miss Liverpool’s two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Depending on how well their nations fare, they could also miss two Premier League clashes with Brentford and Crystal Palace.

It could be far worse for Klopp, who will likely rotate for the Arsenal double-header and FA Cup third-round tie with Shrewsbury Town anyway.

And he’s been handed further boosts, with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones now ready to return after recording positive Covid tests earlier this month.

Salah’s presence will mean Klopp could name a full-strength side against Chelsea in a game of high stakes at the Premier League summit.

The Egyptian forward is arguably Europe’s best player at the moment, registering 22 goals and nine assists in 24 club appearances this season.

He netted the equaliser from the penalty spot as 10-man Chelsea held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the reverse fixture.

And Klopp will hope he will play another crucial role as the Reds look to continue piling pressure on league leaders Manchester City.

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