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When is Mohamed Salah back for Liverpool from 2023 AFCON?


Mohamed Salah has been in irrepressible form for Liverpool this season as he continues to wreak havoc on Premier League defences.

Unfortunately for the Reds, their sharpshooter will be unavailable at the beginning of 2024 as he travels to the Ivory Coast to compete at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. The winger’s absence could prove costly for Jurgen Klopp, whose side are still competing on four separate fronts.

Salah will be looking for revenge at the upcoming AFCON as his Egypt side lost to Senegal on penalties in the most recent final. The Pharaohs may be the record champions, but they haven’t won the competition since 2010.

So, when will Salah return to action with Liverpool following his 2023 AFCON adventure?

Liverpool announced Salah would depart for AFCON after the Reds’ clash with Newcastle United on New Year’s Day, a game the Egyptian was heavily involved in. The 31-year-old missed a penalty before scoring twice and grabbing an assist in the Reds’ 4-2 victory over the Magpies.

Salah will now team up with Egypt before 2023 AFCON ahead of his side’s first group stage game on Sunday 14 January. However, the Liverpool attacker will face a warm-up friendly against Tanzania on 7 January.

Egypt have been drawn in a group with Mozambique, Ghana and Cape Verde, playing all three sides within the space of eight days in Group B.

When Salah returns to Merseyside will depend on how far Egypt go at AFCON, but the forward is guaranteed to be absent until 22 January – his side’s final group game. However, the seven-time champions are likely to progress to the knockout phase, with the expectation being that they will go deep into the tournament.

If Egypt repeat their 2021 AFCON performance and make it all the way to the final, Salah would be missing until 11 February. Even if the Pharaohs only make it to the semi-final, the Reds attacker would be unavailable to Klopp until after 10 February following the third-place play-off.

Given Egypt’s quality and past success at AFCON, it’s highly likely Salah won’t return to Anfield until mid-February.

Egypt’s group and fixtures at 2023 AFCON

Pos

Team

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goal difference

Points

1.

Egypt

0

0

0

0

0

0

2.

Ghana

0

0

0

0

0

0

3.

Cape Verde

0

0

0

0

0

0

4.

Mozambique

0

0

0

0

0

0

Date / Kick-off time (GMT)

Fixtures / results

Venue

14/01/24 / 17:00

Egypt vs Mozambique

Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

18/01/24 / 20:00

Egypt vs Ghana

Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

22/01/24 / 20:00

Cape Verde vs Egypt

Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Dates and stages at 2023 AFCON

Date

Stage

14-24 January 2024

Group stage

27-30 January 2024

Last 16

2-3 February 2024

Quarter-finals

7 February 2024

Semi-finals

10 February 2024

Third-place play-off

11 February 2024

Final

Mohamed Salah, Jurgen Klopp

Salah will be sorely missed by Klopp / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Salah will miss a minimum of four Liverpool games due to his international commitments, but it’s likely to be more.

Should Egypt somehow be knocked out of the group stage, the winger would only be absent for the Reds’ FA Cup meeting with Arsenal, the Premier League trip to Bournemouth and two Carabao Cup semi-final legs with Fulham.

However, he would potentially miss an extra game should Liverpool be forced into an FA Cup replay by the Gunners.

If Salah were to make it to the semi-final or beyond, he would be missing for at least seven Liverpool games, including a few big ones. On top of the four meetings already mentioned, the Egyptian would be absent for Premier League clashes with Chelsea, Arsenal and Burnley before making his return against Brentford on 17 February.

The Premier League trip to the Emirates Stadium on 4 February could be particularly pivotal for Klopp’s side in the title race, but Salah and his goal contributions will be sorely missed by Liverpool regardless of the fixture.

Liverpool games Mohamed Salah could miss due to 2023 AFCON

Date

Fixture

Competition

7 January 2024

Arsenal vs Liverpool

FA Cup

10 January 2024

Liverpool vs Fulham

Carabao Cup

21 January 2024

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Premier League

24 January 2024

Fulham vs Liverpool

Carabao Cup

27/28 January 2024

Potential FA Cup fourth round

FA Cup

31 January 2024

Liverpool vs Chelsea

Premier League

4 February 2024

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Premier League

10 February 2024

Liverpool vs Burnley

Premier League

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