Mohamed Salah scored twice in Liverpool's 3-0 win over Brentford
Mohamed Salah scored twice in Liverpool 4-2 win over Newcastle United | Photo: AFP AFP News

Liverpool FC could be without star striker Mohamed Salah for up to eight games due to Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign.

Salah netted a brace in Liverpool's 4-2 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Monday. It was the star forward's final game for the Reds before he joined his Egypt teammates ahead of their pre-tournament friendly against Tanzania on Jan. 7.

Egypt's AFCON campaign

AFCON is scheduled to get underway in Ivory Coast on Jan. 14, with Egypt opening their Group B campaign against Mozambique on the same day. Their second game is against Ghana on Jan. 18, followed by a meeting with Cape Verde on Jan. 22.

Egypt are certainly expected to go past the group stage, and their Round-of-16 fixture will be played on either Jan. 28 or 29, depending on where they finish in the table.

The AFCON quarter-finals will be played on Feb. 2 and 3, with the semi-finals on Feb. 7 and the final, which will be held at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe, is on Feb. 11.

If Salah's Egypt make it to the AFCON final, that would rule the Liverpool forward out for up to eight games for the Anfield side.

Salah to miss crucial Liverpool games

After their game against Newcastle at Anfield on New Year's Day, Jurgen Klopp's side has a trip to London to take on Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on Jan. 7. Liverpool will then play Fulham twice in the Carabao Cup semi-final, either side of their Premier League fixture against Bournemouth on Jan. 21.

The Reds have some crucial games lined up for the second half of January. Salah is also likely to be absent for Liverpool's FA Cup fourth-round tie if they beat Arsenal, which will be played in the weekend of Jan. 27.

Salah, who lost in the AFCON final to Senegal in 2022, could also be absent for Liverpool's Premier League games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Burnley – on Feb. 1, 4 and 10, respectively.

When Klopp was asked about Salah's upcoming absence in a recent interview, the Liverpool boss replied: "It is not the first time, it is a really at least very average situation that you lose your goalscorer but we had it even worse in the past when Sadio [Mane] and Mo left.

"We came somehow through it and traditionally one of them went pretty far in the tournament, which made it worse."

Along with Salah, Liverpool will also be without defensive midfielder Wataru Endo, who will leave to join Japan at the Asian Cup, which will be played from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10.

150 Premier League goals for Mo Salah

Salah reached a milestone of 150 Premier League goals in Liverpool's 4-2 victory over the Magpies on Monday. The win put the Reds three points clear at the top of the 2023-24 Premier League table. The other two goals in the match, where Liverpool had 15 shots on target, were scored by Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo.

Speaking after the match in Merseyside, Salah said it was a "great result" for Liverpool as the game was "very intense" and yet they picked up three points.

Regarding Liverpool's chances of a Premier League title win this season, Salah said the Reds need to "stay calm and win every game".

"We believe a lot. We have such good talent, they just need to work hard, nothing else. They just need to express themselves on the field, just play their football. If we manage to do that and work hard, and I see them work hard after training in the gym, that's what makes us a winning [team]," the Egyptian King added.

Salah has netted 18 goals and provided nine assists as well for Liverpool in 27 matches in all competitions this season.