How many Liverpool games will Mohamed Salah miss due to AFCON?

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 11 Jan 2024 08:25 GMT
  • 4 min read
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
© ProShots

Mohamed Salah has been Liverpool’s most influential player so far this season and the Egyptian winger is one of the main reasons why they entered 2024 as the Premier League leaders.

The 31-year-old has 14 goals and eight assists in just 20 league appearances this campaign, and he leads both the goal-scoring and assists charts in the 2023-24 English top flight season.

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However, he has been selected by Egypt for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (which actually takes place in 2024) and will now miss several Liverpool matches.

The number of Liverpool games that Salah will miss will depend on how far Egypt progress in the competition.

When will Mohamed Salah be back from Africa Cup of Nations?

The length of Salah’s absence will depend entirely on how well Egypt perform in the competition. The minimum number of Liverpool games he will miss is three, while the maximum is eight.

Salah will first be in action at AFCON when Egypt face Mozambique on Sunday, 14 January at 17:00 GMT. Egypt are in Group B, alongside Cape Verde, Ghana and Mozambique.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
© ProShots - Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

Egypt’s second game of 2023 AFCON is scheduled for Thursday, 18 January (vs Ghana) and their final group stage match takes place on Monday, 22 January (vs Cape Verde).

If Egypt are knocked out in the group stages, then Salah will miss three Liverpool games and could potentially return for their Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg against Fulham on Wednesday, 24 January.

However, it’s unlikely that Salah would start that game even if Egypt are eliminated as he would need to fly home from Ivory Coast after facing Cape Verde on 22 January and be ready for action less than 48 hours later.

Liverpool games that Mohamed Salah will definitely miss due to AFCON participation

7 JanuaryArsenalFA Cup
10 JanuaryFulhamCarabao Cup
21 JanuaryBournemouthPremier League

If Egypt progress beyond the group stages then Liverpool will be without Salah for an even longer time period.

If Egypt are eliminated at the round of 16 stage, Salah will also miss the Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg against Fulham, the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Norwich City or Bristol Rovers, and potentially Liverpool’s Premier League clash versus Chelsea (depending on where Egypt finish in Group B and therefore which round of 16 match they play).

If Egypt are eliminated in the quarter-finals, Salah will highly likely miss Liverpool’s crucial trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the Premier League.

If Egypt are eliminated in the semi-finals, Salah will miss Liverpool’s home clash against Burnley on 10 February as he will participate in the third-place play-off on the same day.

If Egypt reach the final, then Salah won’t miss any additional games and should be able to return for Liverpool’s away game against Brentford on 17 February.

Additional Liverpool games that Mohamed Salah would miss if Egypt reach the 2023 AFCON final

24 JanuaryFulhamCarabao Cup
27 JanuaryNorwich/Bristol RoversFA Cup
31 JanuaryChelseaPremier League
4 FebruaryArsenalPremier League
10 FebruaryBurnleyPremier League

Why has 2023 AFCON been delayed?

The tournament was scheduled to be held between June and July 2023, but a rainy summer season in Ivory Coast ensured AFCON was cancelled and rescheduled for January 2024. As a result, several top players will miss domestic games in order to represent their country.

The first fixture of the tournament is on Saturday, 13 January, with hosts Ivory Coast taking on Guinea-Bissau.

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