Liverpool sweat on key duo's fitness ahead of Carabao Cup final

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai were absent from Liverpool training on Tuesday as the clock ticks down to the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea this month.

The Reds face Brentford at the Gtech Stadium in the Premier League this weekend and, while manager Jurgen Klopp should have more players at his disposal than for last weekend’s game versus Burnley, it is likely he will have to do without Alexander-Arnold and Szoboszlai. 

Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez are back at work with their colleagues following illness, while Conor Bradley also returned after a period of absence following the death of his father. However, the biggest boost of all is the return of Mohamed Salah to team training. 

The Egyptian captain was injured during the Africa Cup of Nations group stages on 18 January and was subsequently ruled out for up to 28 days. 

That time frame will have passed by the time the Reds meet Brentford this weekend it now looks likely that the Reds hero will be involved against the Bees after he was pictured back in training. 

However, there are problems for Klopp in the shape of Alexander-Arnold and Szoboszlai — who were both absent from Tuesday's session at the AXA Training Centre. 

Race against time

The Hungary captain injured his hamstring against Newcastle on New Year’s Day and had to abort his comeback when he suffered a recurrence just before the Reds played Arsenal at the Emirates on 4 February. 

No time frame has been placed on his return although a report appeared in the Hungarian press that the 23-year-old would be out for seven to eight matches. That duration would mean Carabao Cup heartbreak for the former RB Leipzig man, who is yet to rejoin his team-mates on the training field. 

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, was struggling with a knee injury which caused him to miss matches in January, a knock which was picked up in the FA Cup third round victory over Arsenal on 7 January. 

And while the England man had returned to the first-team setup, the 25-year-old went off against Burnley last week having picked up a recurrence of the same injury. 

Speaking after the game, Klopp said of his vice-captain: "Same area in the knee. Nothing really bad, but he felt it again and we have to see, we have to assess it.

"Trent said it's fine, but it's not fine [because] he feels it so we had to be careful and took him off."

Like Szoboszlai, Alexander-Arnold was absent from training on Tuesday and it remains to be seen whether he makes it for the weekend or, indeed, for the Wembley showpiece in less than two weeks’ time.

Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Ben Doak and Joel Matip were the only other absentees from the session.

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