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Cody Gakpo explains how Liverpool will cope with Mohamed Salah absence during AFCON

Cody Gakpo says he is confident Liverpool’s attackers will cover the goals of Mohamed Salah when the Egyptian jets off for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Reds earned a 2-0 win at Burnley on Boxing Day courtesy of strikes from Darwin Nunez and the returning Diogo Jota to take them back to the top of the Premier League table.

Salah is tied in second with Dominic Solanke in the top flight scoring charts with 12, two behind current leader Erling Haaland, but leaves for AFCON next week and could be missing from Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI for a month.

Darwin Nunez

Nunez scored Liverpool’s opener against Burnley / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Speaking after the win at Turf Moor, Gakpo said: “For every attacking player who didn’t score for a few games, it’s always nice to get back on the scoresheet and Darwin did it with a very good goal.

“For Diogo as well. When you are injured and you come back and score that’s always nice and good for the confidence. So really happy.

“Mo is gone after the Newcastle game so we need the goals. Of course, I think I can contribute even more.”

Club captain Virgil van Dijk was similarly confident Liverpool would find a way to keep winning games without their talismanic forward, adding: “Others have to step up anyway. We have to deal with losing Mo and we have the players up front who can make the difference. Let’s see how we deal with it.”

Salah, who will leave for Egypt duty after the New Year’s Day clash with Newcastle, is Liverpool’s leading league goalscorer with 12 so far in 2023/24, with Nunez and Jota both taking their tallies to five apiece on Tuesday night. Luis Diaz has three strikes to his name, while Gakpo has just two.


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