Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders is positive the Reds have the ammunition to offset the loss of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Attacking titans Salah and Mane, along with midfielder Naby Keita, are set to depart for the showpiece event in African football.
Should they go all the way to the final, the players would be away from their clubs until the second week of February.
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With Liverpool trailing Manchester City by 11 points - albeit with a game in hand - there is a feeling that the Reds will lose further ground without their attacking stars.
Lijnders, who was standing in for manager Jurgen Klopp following the German’s positive Covid test, says it is a scenario the Reds will have to deal with - meaning the likes of Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino will need to step up.
“You can try to plan it but you can never prepare it,” Lijnders said following the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday. “It is not a worry because we have faith in the boys we have and a few boys are coming back as well.
“We know that certain players can play more offensively as well, they have been playing in midfield but they can play more offensively as well.”
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While it is a blow for Liverpool to lose three players in the middle of the season, they were well aware of the situation and Lijnders wants the trio to do their countries proud.
“I just told the boys Naby, Mo and Sadio that they should try to win the AFCON because it is a prize to catch and the careers are never long and they deserve to fight for each prize,” Lijnders said.
“This prize now comes in front of them - it’s a tournament with so much passion, so much culture and it is a really proud situation if you can play for your country, if it’s England or Germany or Holland or whoever and that’s what they have and feel.
“So they are African legends, they are legends for me, but if they win it they will probably be even bigger legends so they should try with all they have to win it.”
Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino are not back in full training, and Lijnders is not sure when they will return.
“Let’s see,” Lijnders said. “Some of the boys plan to be back but they still didn’t start team training, so we have to see.”
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