Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros due to a persistent ankle injury.

Salah has been managing an issue since hobbling out of Liverpool's win over Leicester City last month, having been on the end of a rugged late challenge from Hamza Choudhury.

The 27-year-old looked to be in pain again in Sunday's mammoth clash with Manchester City.

He was caught by Fernandinho during Liverpool's 3-1 victory, initially staying down before playing on until the 87th minute, and was seen with his foot strapped up at full-time.

Salah joined up with his international team-mates on Monday, but the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has announced Salah will play no part against Kenya or Comoros.

"Medical tests have confirmed Salah is not ready for Kenya and Comoros," a statement on the EFA's official Twitter page read.

Salah has nine goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season, including five in his past seven outings.

Egypt face Kenya in Alexandria in their first qualifier of the group stage on Thursday before travelling to Moroni four days later.

Jurgen Klopp said Mohamed Salah's ongoing ankle problem is annoying but believes his star forward will be fit for Liverpool's clash with Aston Villa this weekend.

Salah was cynically fouled by Leicester's Hamza Choudhury last month and it seems he is still suffering from the injury on a recurring basis.

The Egyptian required ice on his ankle as he hobbled down the tunnel following last week's win over Spurs and has spent most of this week training away from the first team in a bid to recover.

There may be temptation to rest Salah for the trip to Villa Park with an eye on next weekend's top of the table fixture with Manchester City, but Klopp is confident Salah will be involved for Liverpool on Saturday.

"He should be fine. He has had to do his own individual stuff, but he will be training," he told reporters.

"I think it is really more annoying, not for me, but for him. The fact the injury always has a bit of fluid in, and he has to deal with it, we get it out and it comes back, stuff like that.

"But this is not a real injury in this sense, so I've heard (from the physios), so he should be fine."

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Juventus are not resting on their laurels.

Despite their domestic dominance, Juve are craving European glory as they eye a first Champions League crown since 1995.

So much so that they have three Premier League stars on their mind.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WATCH SALAH, SON & ERIKSEN

Juventus scouts watched Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Tuttosport.

Seeking a ninth successive Scudetto, Serie A champions Juve are prepared to spend heavily in pursuit of Champions League glory.

With money no obstacle as they reap the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's presence, Liverpool star Salah and Tottenham duo Son and Eriksen are reportedly on Juve's list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Jose Mourinho wants to become the first manager to win major trophies with three English clubs as the former Manchester United boss is linked to Arsenal. Gunners head coach Unai Emery is under pressure at the Emirates Stadium amid growing fan frustration.

Manchester United are hopeful of completing a deal for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January, reports Soccerlink. With Dembele's future uncertain, Lyon are lining up Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United's name has again been thrown into the mix for Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old Italy international is fast becoming one of the most sought-after players in Europe, attracting interest from Juventus, Manchester City and Inter. Now, The Suns says United are weigning up a £40million move for Tonali after sending scouts to watch him once more.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are considering a January move for Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal to sign Strasbourg's Ibrahima Sissoko. The 21-year-old French midfielder is poised to make the switch when the transfer window opens in January.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp eased concerns match-winner Mohamed Salah suffered an injury setback after the forward limped off against Tottenham.

The Egypt international missed two weeks of action after hurting his ankle at the start of October, forcing him out of last week's 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

Salah was back in the team for Liverpool's 4-1 Champions League win over Genk on Wednesday and started Sunday's meeting with Tottenham, scoring in both games.

However, the 27-year-old experienced further discomfort with his ankle in the 2-1 comeback win and was replaced by Joe Gomez five minutes from time.

Virgil van Dijk also picked up a knock but Klopp allayed fears of a lay-off for either player.

"Virgil has got a dead leg. It's painful but he will be fine," he told Sky Sports. "Mo's problem is his ankle - it got sore the longer the game went on, but it is not a massive issue.

"It makes no sense to try to push it through. We have other players and we had options to change it and we did.

"It's nothing serious. It's not massive - it will disappear one day, but it's still a bit there at the moment."

Harry Kane gave Tottenham the lead inside 47 seconds at Anfield, but Jordan Henderson's strike early in the second half broke the visitors' resistance and Salah secured Liverpool's 12th successive home league win from the penalty spot.

Klopp was pleased with the way his side remained calm after their early setback, with Paulo Gazzaniga producing a number of fine saves prior to their breakthrough moment.

"We started well but the way we conceded was a bit unlucky," he said. "Tottenham then defended well, their counter-attacks were incredible. 

"But we weren't nervous. We just followed the plan, doing everything in the right way.

"Their goalkeeper made some incredible saves, but we stayed calm. At half-time we said this game only had one problem: the score. There were one or two things we could do better and adapt a little bit."

Liverpool caused Tottenham issues with their counter-pressing, especially in the build-up to the incident that saw Serge Aurier foul Sadio Mane for the decisive penalty.

Klopp added at his post-match news conference: "The second goal is a sensational counter-press from Sadio, having the ball, losing it twice, coming on to the opponent and then the defender kicks your calf. That's a super situation.

"We won the game, deserved it and I'm really happy about the performance."

If games and seasons turn on moments, Son Heung-min's strike against the woodwork at Anfield might prove huge for both Tottenham and Liverpool.

From a tight angle early in the second half, Spurs forward Son went agonisingly close to handing the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Liverpool would have been deflated, Spurs elated. Yet come the final whistle, with that single-goal deficit overturned, it was the Reds chalking up another victory.

They remain bang on target for a first Premier League title, while Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham lurk uncomfortably in mid-table.

Liverpool, then, are back to winning ways in the competition they yearn to capture most of all, chasing another streak of successes after their 17-match sequence came to a halt with the draw against Manchester United in their previous game.

As setbacks go, drawing at the home of your fiercest rivals is more molehill than mountain. But Liverpool would understandably have been disappointed with their display in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The Reds are winless in their past six Premier League visits to Old Trafford, despite last week facing the poorest United side in decades.

If toiling but getting the job done at home to Leicester City and then taking an eight-point lead into the international break felt significant, so too did seeing that advantage immediately cut to six by a Manchester City outfit determined to respond.

In recent title tilts, Liverpool have made a habit of seizing control, only to swiftly let their firm grasp of the situation slip.

The 2013-14 season saw Liverpool lead City with three games remaining. Brendan Rodgers' men, having won 11 matches in a row, then dropped five points across their next two and even made hard work of nine-man Newcastle United on the final day, falling two points and several goals short.

Last season, City lost three of four games in mid-December and dropped to third, seven points behind Liverpool, but beat the leaders in the first game of 2019 en route to winning 18 of their remaining 19 matches. Liverpool drew four of six games at one stage in that stretch, meanwhile, and were trailing again.

At Anfield, where they are still waiting for a first title of the Premier League era, and where they know pesky City have punished their every error in seasons past, these slumps can feel cataclysmic.

There may have been no disgrace in drawing at United, but a failure to beat Tottenham in Liverpool's final home game before welcoming City in early November really would have really piled on the pressure.

Desperate for a victory, this felt for 45 minutes like a day when fate was conspiring against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Moussa Sissoko, who missed a huge chance at Anfield last season and crucially handled within 30 seconds of the first whistle in the Champions League final, drove Spurs forward to prompt another early goal in this fixture, this time for Harry Kane after just 47 seconds.

Liverpool were gifted victory by Hugo Lloris in the corresponding fixture last season but found Paulo Gazzaniga, the deputy, improbably unbeatable before the break.

"Where's your European Cup," chanted the Kop early on, provoked by the Tottenham supporters, but only after a decisive five-minute second-half spell were Liverpool roared on in pursuit of the trophy they all really want.

Jordan Henderson - talismanic in the European final - lashed beyond Gazzaniga and celebrated in the fashion one might a title-defining effort, before Mohamed Salah thrashed in another penalty against Spurs to settle the contest with 15 minutes to play.

As against Leicester, the scoreline was unconvincing but here the performance was not. Liverpool's momentum is unchecked after that Old Trafford blip.

Tottenham, on the other hand, a threat on the counter but still so flimsy at the back, sit 11th and could not even play the role of spoilers as they had in a draw at Etihad Stadium in August.

They will scarcely be considered interested spectators when Liverpool and City face their next big Premier League tests, against one another, in a fortnight.

Mohamed Salah struck the winner as Premier League leaders Liverpool came from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

Harry Kane scored after 47 seconds at Anfield and Jurgen Klopp's men, for all their dominance of the ball, struggled to cope with Tottenham's fast breaks and the irrepressible Son Heung-min.

Son was instrumental in creating the opener for the in-form Kane, who has scored five goals in his last five games for club and country, and Liverpool found Paulo Gazzaniga at his best in the Spurs goal as they pressed hard for an equaliser.

That goal arrived courtesy of a Danny Rose error that let in Jordan Henderson to score, and Salah fired the winner from the penalty spot after Serge Aurier felled Sadio Mane in the box.

The result restored Liverpool's six-point lead over second-placed Manchester City, while mid-table Tottenham are without a league win in their last three attempts.

Moussa Sissoko launched Tottenham into an immediate attack, feeding Son Heung-min who turned inside Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson before crashing a deflected shot onto the post, and Kane was on hand to steer the rebound home with a diving header.

Christian Eriksen went agonisingly close to doubling Tottenham's lead, rolling a shot just wide after Dele Alli's cut-back as the visitors' counter-attacks wrought havoc.

But Liverpool began to dominate and were unfortunate not to equalise as Salah stung Gazzaniga's palms with a pair of powerful drives from the edge of the box and Virgil van Dijk's bullet header was tipped over the bar by the Argentina international.

Gazzaniga saved well from Roberto Firmino before releasing Son who smacked a shot onto the crossbar with Alisson beaten, but Liverpool drew level moments later.

Andy Robertson's high ball into the box was poorly dealt with by Danny Rose whose header played in Henderson, and the England midfielder sent a shot bouncing into the far left corner of the net.

Tottenham defended bravely as Liverpool chased a winner, but Mane was caught by Aurier with 15 minutes left and the referee pointed to the spot without hesitation.

Salah rattled a clinical spot-kick past Gazzaniga and the Reds shut the door thereafter, leaving Spurs with one point from their last three league games.

What does it mean? Spurs on the slide
Tottenham have dropped into the bottom half of the Premier League table after picking up just three wins from their first 10 games of the season, while Liverpool remain unbeaten and seemingly unstoppable at the top.

Son still shines in defeat
Tottenham's best moments all involved the fleet-footed Son, who tormented Dejan Lovren and almost doubled the visitors' lead early in the second half.

Rose wilts under pressure
Liverpool might not have found a way back into the game had Rose not presented Henderson with such a golden chance to equalise, and the Spurs full-back should have done better with his header.

What's next?
Liverpool return to Anfield on Wednesday evening when they face Arsenal in the EFL Cup, while Tottenham have a week to prepare for a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Sunday.

Liverpool's dream of clinching a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League victory fell flat in their 1-1 draw at Manchester United, but the visit of an erratic Tottenham side provides an ideal chance to bounce back.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino might have hoped for a big win at Old Trafford for the table-topping Reds, who could have something of the wounded animal about them at Anfield on Sunday.

Tottenham have won just one of their last four league games but enjoyed a 5-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in midweek, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela all scoring.

Pochettino will need his entire team to be at their best to get a result at Anfield, where Liverpool are unbeaten in 44 Premier League games since Crystal Palace beat them 2-1 in April 2017.

FIT-AGAIN SALAH ADDS TO TOTTENHAM'S TROUBLES

Liverpool looked strangely toothless for long periods at Old Trafford, with Mohamed Salah's absence keenly felt in Jurgen Klopp's attack.

The Egypt international is expected to be fit to face Spurs and his inclusion on the team-sheet will be enough to dampen spirits in the visiting changing room.

Salah has scored six goals in his last eight starts in all competitions against Tottenham, plundering goals past Spurs for Basel, Fiorentina and Liverpool.

The threat of an upset at Anfield relies largely on the shoulders of Kane, who has been directly involved in seven goals in nine Premier League appearances against the Reds.

Kane netted three goals in two games against Liverpool in 2017-18, but his failure to score in either of last season's league fixtures between the two sides coincided with a pair of defeats for Spurs.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ROBERTO FIRMINO V HARRY KANE

While Kane has scored six goals in his last seven games in all competitions for Tottenham, Firmino has just one in his last eight for Liverpool.

But a glance at the stats dating back from the start of 2018-19 gives a better indication of how well matched these two strikers are, and how much more creative Firmino is than the Tottenham number 10.

Firmino has created 54 Premier League chances and provided nine assists since the start of last season, while Kane has mustered just five assists from 36 chances created.

Firmino makes an average of 42 passes per game, with an accuracy of 80.2 per cent, dwarfing Kane's average of 20 per game at 72.5 per cent accuracy.

But when it comes to goals, Kane is very much the man: he has scored 22 in 37 appearances since the start of last season, averaging 0.6 per game, while Firmino has scored 15 in 43 appearances for Liverpool (0.4 per game).

FORM GUIDE

This fixture could hardly have come at a worse moment for Tottenham, who are in their worst period of Premier League away form for 18 years having failed to win any of their last 10 games on the road.

They are up against a Liverpool side who, despite their blip last weekend, remain in imperious home form and have won all of their last 11 Premier League games at Anfield.

One glimmer of hope for Spurs could lie in the fact that Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in their last four home league games, conceding once each against Norwich City, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Leicester City.

Scoring goals has not been Tottenham's major shortcoming - they scored five goals in their last four Premier League away games - but shoring up a defence that has conceded 10 goals in five league games on the road is a complex challenge.

HISTORY SAYS...

Spurs are winless in their past eight league visits to Anfield (D3 L5), with their most recent victory on the ground coming all the way back in May 2011 when Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric scored in a 2-0 win.

Liverpool won this fixture in March thanks to a last-minute own-goal from Toby Alderweireld, but the points were shared in 2017-18 when Kane converted a penalty in second-half stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw.

Victory for Liverpool on Sunday will take them within one win of equalling their longest top-flight winning run at home of 13 games between April and November 1985.

Klopp's men would be more than happy with a repeat of the last time the two sides met: a 2-0 Liverpool victory in the Champions League final in June.

Jurgen Klopp believes there is much more to come from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the midfielder's excellent brace inspired Liverpool's 4-1 Champions League win at Genk.

Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first appearance in Europe's top competition since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the 2018 semi-final against Roma and marked the occasion in style.

A low drive gave him and Liverpool a second-minute opener at the Luminus Arena but it was his second before the hour that brought the house down.

After collecting Roberto Firmino's pass, Oxlade-Chamberlain unleashed a magnificent shot with the outside of his right foot from 20 yards that went in off the underside of Gaetan Coucke's crossbar.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah added goals that were similarly easy on the eye before substitute Stephen Odey netted a late consolation – adding up to a scoreline that felt a touch harsh on Genk after they cut through the Liverpool defence frequently.

"An absolutely great moment for him but Ox’s performance was, I would say, exactly like the performance of the team: the goals were great but all the rest could have been better," Klopp told a post-match news conference.

"That’s how it is, it’s no problem. The goals were sensational and very important for us.

"Obviously it was wonderful last Sunday that Adam [Lallana] scored the goal and now Ox has scored two goals which is really nice. It’s absolutely great, a great story."

Klopp felt Liverpool left themselves exposed to a pacey Genk attack by carelessly ceding possession during the first half.

"The plan worked for 10 or 15 minutes okay and then not anymore because we lost completed unexpected balls, which we were not ready for," he said.

"We lost too many of them and sometimes we took a risk in the wrong moment. A pass or a one-two in a very tight space, it makes not too much sense.

"Then we scored the second goal, the first goal was brilliant but the second was even nicer – all our goals were unbelievably beautiful – and the second looked like it was a proper knock for Genk."

Klopp confirmed Andy Robertson's second-half substitution was not caused by an injury after the Scotland international endured some torrid moments against Genk winger Junya Ito.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took inspiration from Liverpool's Champions League triumph last season as he took the early steps in his own return to elite football.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was the Reds' star performer with a superb brace in their 4-1 win at Genk on Wednesday, keeping Jurgen Klopp's side a point behind Group E leaders Napoli on their European title defence.

The England midfielder's last appearance in Europe's top competition ended in heartache as he suffered a serious knee injury against Roma in the 2018 semi-final.

He returned to fitness to be an unused substitute when Liverpool beat Tottenham in last season's final and the 26-year-old revelled in being back on centre stage in Belgium.

"It's nice to be back out there. It's a special tournament to play in. A competition that we all want to grow up and play in one day," Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport.

"Seeing the boys do so well in it last year, then I was fortunate to get back involved on the bench on the big day in the final. Watching the boys bring it home was inspirational and [made it] something that I've wanted to get back to do.

"It's just nice to be back in the starting line-up, trying to put in a performance to help the team. To get a few goals is a bonus."

Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring in the second minute with a deflected low drive.

It was his second that will live longest in the memory, however – a sublime strike with the outside of his right foot from 20 yards that cannoned into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

"Everyone will be delighted for him," said James Milner, who battled against Genk side at right-back before moving to left-back in the second half, told BT Sport.

"The things people don't see behind the scenes at a training ground, the long hours and time spent in the treatment room and gym on their own.

"I think that goal was coming, to be honest. He had a couple of sighters at Old Trafford [during Liverpool's 1-1 Premier League draw on Sunday], just getting his range right.

"We want him to be positive when he's in there, he's got a great strike on him, he's good in those pockets with dribbling ability.

"It's good to have him back as another option in that midfield where there's great competition for places."

Genk captain Mbwana Samatta had a first-half goal disallowed for marginal offside in the build-up and the hosts had plenty of chances to score before substitute Stephen Odey's 88th-minute consolation – a tidy turn and shot after Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah coolly made the points safe.

"In the first half we got a bit sloppy and we've got to do a lot better if we want to go further in this competition," Oxlade-Chamberlain added.

"Second half it was quite mature. We controlled the game. Disappointing to concede but it was a good night all round."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reintroduced himself to the Champions League in style with two goals in Liverpool's 4-1 win over Genk.

The England midfielder's last appearance in the competition came in the 2018 semi-final, when he suffered a serious knee injury that decimated a year of his career.

Recalled to Jurgen Klopp's midfield alongside Naby Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain's second-minute opener took a slight deflection but a majestic second before the hour was emphatically all his own work.

Substitute Stephen Odey swivelled to finish in the 88th minute - a deserved reward for Genk's attacking endeavours - although Sadio Mane and the returning Mohamed Salah had put the result way beyond doubt by that stage.

Genk quickly faced a tall order when Oxlade-Chamberlain was given ample room 25 yards from goal to line up a low drive that deflected past the helpless Gaetan Coucke.

Bryan Heynen snatched at a chance to equaliser before Alisson saved from Paul Onuachu – the Liverpool defence undone by two long balls over the top in quick succession.

The same ploy looked like it might bear fruit in the 20th minute, only for Junya Ito to lose his footing inside the visitors' box.

Mane was denied by a fine Coucke save on the end of a return rabona flick from Roberto Firmino before Liverpool were granted a VAR reprieve – Ito shown to be fractionally offside before his inviting cross was powered home by Mbwana Samatta.

Samatta was unable to slide in a low 40th-minute delivery from Ito as Liverpool again looked defensively vulnerable.

The hosts' pacey, direct approach once more looked dangerous after the restart, meaning Oxlade-Chamberlain's immaculate second gave Klopp's men much-needed breathing space.

Firmino latched on to Naby Keita's chipped pass and laid it back to the opening goalscorer outside the area, where a sublime strike with the outside of his right boot sent the ball whistling past Coucke and into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Salah teed up on Mane for a cute 77th-minute finish before dribbling into space and slotting past Coucke three minutes from time for another quality Liverpool goal as they stayed a point behind Group E leaders Napoli, though Odey's late goal spoiled their clean sheet.

What does it mean? Klopp's men unbowed after tough away assignments

Liverpool were far from their fluent best before Adam Lallana snatched a late draw at Manchester United on Sunday and Genk made much of the running here. The Premier League leaders were again able to offset signs of weakness with rugged grit and determination – qualities best typified by James Milner getting to work in both full-back positions.

Year of the Ox?

It has been a long, gruelling road back to this point for Oxlade-Chamberlain and his was a display to warm the coldest heart. The former Arsenal man provides a goal threat from midfield Liverpool often lack, although few of his efforts from this point will match his stunning 57th-minute intervention.

Genk attack leaves Robertson squashed

The lively and erratic Ito delighted and frustrated the Genk faithful in equal measure but he subjected Reds left-back Andy Robertson to an unusually torrid outing. Klopp's decision to send on Joe Gomez in his place and push Milner to left-back in the 63rd minute spoke volumes.

What's next?

Liverpool host Tottenham on Sunday, with Mauricio Pochettino's men looking to build on a morale-boosting 5-0 win over Red Star Belgrade. Genk host Cercle Brugge a day earlier as they try to improve upon their sixth position in the Belgian First Division.

Mohamed Salah is back in the Liverpool starting line-up to take on Genk in the Champions League.

Salah missed out on Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester United due to an ankle injury but returns to complete Jurgen Klopp's familiar front three alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

The Egypt star comes in as one of five changes to the XI from Old Trafford, with James Millner in for Trent Alexander-Arnold (virus) at right-back and Dejan Lovren partnering Virgil van Dijk instead of Joel Matip (knee).

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita both start in midfield, with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum the men to make way.

It is Oxlade-Chamberlain's first Champions League appearance since suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament against Roma in the 2017-18 semi-final.

Keita's only previous Liverpool start this season came against MK Dons in the EFL Cup last month.

Jurgen Klopp feels Liverpool's seven nominees for the Ballon d'Or are fully deserving of the accolade, though he does not feel any personal pride for the players' individual achievements.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum were all named on a 30-man shortlist for the annual award on Monday.

The nominations follow on from an incredible 2018-19 campaign for the Champions League winners, with Klopp's side also finishing second to Manchester City in a thrilling Premier League title race.

Speaking ahead of his team's European game against Genk on Wednesday, Klopp has no doubt Liverpool's stars are worthy contenders for the honour.

"It's nice. I don't understand or know too much about these kinds of things. When you win it is big but when you don't win it hopefully it doesn't hurt too much," Klopp told a news conference.

"It's a very good sign but after last season it is normal that a lot of players have to be nominated.

"I'm proud in general of the boys 100 per cent, but I didn't feel proud in that moment. I'm happy when they win things. I'm not sure if I should be proud in a moment like this, I had not so much to do with that. I'm proud of the football we play but no more."

Klopp is also unsure if the success of Liverpool's nominees will result in more top-level players wishing to join the club, though suggested none of his current squad will be leaving Anfield in the near future.

"Our seven players all deserve it. If that's the sign for us from now on, and if we will be a destination for players, I do not know," Klopp added.

"We all feel comfortable with each other, want to work together for the next couple of years or more. But we don't know, we will see what the future brings.

Liverpool sit second in Group E heading into Wednesday's clash in Belgium, having lost to Napoli before beating Salzburg. 

Despite making it to the final in 2017-18 and again last season, the Reds have won just one of their six away group stage matches under Klopp, who acknowledged that record must improve.

"Last year we were lucky the group was so tight that we could lose our away games and still have the chance to make it out of the group," Klopp said.

"That will not happen this year. We don't rely on home games all the time but obviously European nights at Anfield are really special. However, other teams can make a special atmosphere as well.

"We could have won away games, performance wise, but for reasons we didn't win. Historically it is not good, the last two years. We know we have to improve and we try again and again until it works out."

Mohamed Salah looks set to play but Liverpool will be without two first-choice defenders for the Champions League game against Genk on Wednesday.

Egypt star Salah took part in the club's final training session before departing for Belgium and has now been named in the 19-man travelling party.

The 27-year-old forward suffered an ankle injury in the Premier League win over Leicester City before the international break and missed the weekend draw with Manchester United.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip completed 90 minutes at Old Trafford but neither will be available for the European champions' third Group E game.

Alexander-Arnold remains on Merseyside due to a virus while centre-back Matip has a sore knee, the Reds confirmed.

Liverpool beat Salzburg 4-3 in their most recent Champions League match after losing 2-0 at Napoli, who drew 0-0 with Genk last time out.

Mohamed Salah could return for Liverpool against Genk on Wednesday after returning to first-team training.

The Egypt star has been sidelined with an ankle injury sustained during the 2-1 Premier League win over Leicester City and missed the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said the forward could not have been risked for the game at Old Trafford as he had not yet resumed team training.

However, Salah was involved in the section of training open to the media at Melwood on Tuesday as Liverpool prepare for their trip to Belgium.

It means the 27-year-old is likely at least to be ready for next Sunday's Premier League clash with Tottenham at Anfield.

Liverpool are a point off the top in Group E after two matches, having lost 2-0 to Napoli before beating Salzburg 4-3 on matchday two.

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