Home News Why Mo Salah AND Wataru Endo will miss Carabao Cup semi-finals

Why Mo Salah AND Wataru Endo will miss Carabao Cup semi-finals

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With Liverpool into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup after beating West Ham 5-1, they know they will face Fulham without Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo.

The Reds produced an excellent showing as they thrashed West Ham at Anfield, with Dominik Szoboszlai opening the scoring before Curtis Jones‘ brace and goals from Salah and Cody Gakpo.

It ensured a second Carabao Cup semi-final in three years, with Fulham drawn as their opponents for two legs in January.

Those fixtures extend a busy run for Liverpool, effectively landing during the Premier League‘s winter break, and will be held while two key players are absent.

Salah and Endo will miss both ties due to their involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup respectively.

The Africa Cup of Nations will be held in the Ivory Coast, running from January 13 to February 11, with Liverpool hopeful Salah can play against Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on January 7 before joining the Egypt squad.

Meanwhile, the Asian Cup takes place in Qatar from January 12 to February 10, and Endo could face a similar timescale for his duty with Japan.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - Tuesday, June 19, 2018: Egypt's Mohamed Salah before the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group A match between Russia and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Egypt play Mozambique (Jan 14), Ghana (Jan 18) and Cape Verde (Jan 22) in the group stage, while Japan play Vietnam (Jan 14), Iraq (Jan 19) and Indonesia (Jan 24).

That means, inclusive of the first leg against Fulham, Salah and Endo will miss the following fixtures at the very least:

If either or both players go all the way with their countries, they could be absent for another four games including a potential FA Cup fourth-round tie on the weekend of January 27/28.

DOHA, QATAR - Sunday, November 27, 2022: Japan's Wataru Endo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Japan and Costa Rica at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Costa Rica won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have at least avoided the need for a Europa League knockout playoff by finishing top of Group E and progressing directly to the last 16.

Had they not, they would have been required to play two legs against one of Galatasaray, Lens, SC Braga, Benfica, Feyenoord, AC Milan, Young Boys and Shakhtar Donetsk home and away in February.

Egypt are expected to progress beyond their group which would mean a last-16 tie on January 27/28/29/30, while Japan are favourites to win the Asian Cup outright.