How Liverpool have dealt with previous Mohamed Salah absences

Liverpool have the unenviable task of trying to cope without Mohamed Salah over the next few weeks.

The prolific winger has teamed up with Egypt ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Salah's first group stage game taking place on 14 January.

If the 31-year-old were to make it to the final of the competition - as he did at 2021 AFCON with Egypt - then he could potentially miss nine games for Liverpool, depending on the Reds' FA Cup results.

Salah is guaranteed to miss four games for Liverpool - the FA Cup third round against Arsenal, both Carabao Cup semi-finals and a Premier League meeting with Bournemouth - but will miss more the further he progresses.

Klopp joked that a part of him was secretly rooting for Egypt to be knocked out in the group stage, meaning Salah would return to Anfield before the end of the month, but it's likely that the forward will go deep into the tournament with his international teammates.

Of course, Liverpool have had to deal with Salah's AFCON absence before, most recently in 2022. The Reds will also be without Wataru Endo, who is joining up with Japan at the Asian Cup as well.

So, how have Liverpool coped without Salah in the past?

LIVERPOOL'S RECORD WITHOUT MOHAMED SALAH

As the Reds continue to fight on four fronts, currently topping the Premier League table, Salah is bound to leave a void in the Liverpool team over the coming weeks.

After all, the Egyptian has netted 18 goals and provided nine assists in 27 appearances for Liverpool this season.

However, the Reds actually have a remarkably strong record in Salah's absence.

According to Paul Joyce of The Times, Liverpool have only lost two of 27 matches that the winger has missed since arriving at the club.

Those defeats came to Leicester City in the Carabao Cup in 2017 and Union Saint-Gilloise in this season's Europa League group stage.

The Reds have won 22 and drawn three of the other matches that Salah has missed, other players stepping up in the forward's absence.

Salah missed five games during the 2021/22 season due to his AFCON commitments, with Liverpool winning four and drawing one of said matches.

The Reds were also in the Carabao Cup semi-final that season, beating Arsenal over two legs without Salah before eventually lifting the trophy for the first time under Klopp.

However, it still won't be straightforward replacing Salah's impact on the right flank, especially given just how pivotal he has been in the final third this season.

As Michael Reid of Opta points out, Salah has the seventh best win percentage of any player in Liverpool's history that has played over 200 games for the club.

In the end, it's up to Klopp and his attackers to make sure that Salah's absence doesn't derail Liverpool's campaign.

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