Jurgen Klopp ‘not worried’ over Mohamed Salah fitness ahead of Napoli clash

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp takes part in a press conference at Melwood in Liverpool ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash against Napoli, in which he said he is not worried about the fitness of Mohamed Salah. (AFP)
Updated 27 November 2019

Jurgen Klopp ‘not worried’ over Mohamed Salah fitness ahead of Napoli clash

  • Salah was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday
  • Victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s side would ensure defending champions finish top of Group E

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he has no concerns about Mohamed Salah’s fitness ahead of their Champions League clash with Napoli.
Salah was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday after missing training with an ankle problem.
“Mo Salah looks really good,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “I’m not worried about it.”
Klopp also provided an update on the fitness of defender Joel Matip, who has been sidelined with a knee injury.
“Joel is improving but is some time away. There will be a scan this week and then we will see how it is.”
Klopp said he had plans to cope with Liverpool’s fixture pile-up over the next few weeks.
Their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, plus their progress in the League Cup, mean Liverpool have been forced to play two games within 24 hours of each other, over 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) apart in mid-December.
“We have plans for everything, as you can imagine, and we change them constantly. I have two smartphones and when one of them is ringing it is really rare it is good news,” said Klopp.
“You only get the messages when a player is not fine, so then we have to make new plans and we don’t know exactly how many players we’ll have to train.
“We know in the long term what we have to do, we know that’s all set. The athletic part of the sessions, we try to adapt to the specific situation of the players. The tactical things depend on the games we play.”
Victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s side on Wednesday would ensure defending champions Liverpool finish top of Group E with a game to spare but Klopp said he could not afford to look past the match.
Napoli are the only side to have beaten Liverpool this season but are currently seventh in Serie A.
“The biggest mistake we could make is that we have won it already and what would happen if we win it,” Klopp said.
“These things are not in our mind. Of course we try to win the game, it would be massive for us after the start we had. Napoli are a dangerous opponent.
“There are two weeks between tomorrow night and the Salzburg game (final match of the group) and we have three games in between. Why should I think about the Salzburg game now?“


Top riders saddle up for Saudi Cup preview

Updated 28 February 2020

Top riders saddle up for Saudi Cup preview

  • Leading male and female jockeys will feature at King Abdul Aziz Racetrack ahead of the world’s richest horse race

RIYADH: Racing fans will get a taste of the excitement they can expect from the world’s richest horse race, the Saudi Cup, when leading riders compete in the first-ever stc International Jockeys Challenge at King Abdul Aziz Racetrack in Riyadh on Friday.

Some of the world’s best male and female jockeys will compete over eight races in the Kingdom Day meet on the eve of the inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday.

Frankie Dettori, the 2019 Longines world’s best jockey, will be among riders from 10 countries taking part.

Dettori is among the favorites to win the opening leg of the challenge on Moshaghebah, a winner of her last race. 

In the 1,400m event, Matmon will be ridden by three-time New Zealand champion Lisa Allpress.

KINGDOM DAY SCHEDULE - FRIDAY

• Race 1: Saudi-bred Maiden Time: 3:20 p.m. (KSA) Distance: 1,400m (7 furlong)

• Race 2: Equestrian Club Award, Saudi-bred, Open Time: 3:45 p.m. Distance: 1,400m (7 furlong)

• Race 3: International Jockeys Challenge, Saudi-bred, Handicap Time: 4:15 p.m. Distance: 1,400m (7 furlong)

• Race 4: International Jockeys Challenge, Imported and Saudi-bred, Handicap Time: 4:45 p.m. Distance 1,600m (1 mile)

• Race 5: Equestrian Club Award, Saudi-bred fillies, Open Time: 5:15 p.m. Distance: 1,600m (1 mile)

• Race 6: International Jockeys Challenge, Saudi-bred, Handicap Time: 5:45 p.m. Distance: 1,800m (1 mile and 1 furlong)

• Race 7: International Jockeys Challenge, Saudi-bred, Handicap Time: 6:30 p.m. Distance: 1,200m (6 furlongs)

• Race 8: Equestrian Club Prize, Saudi-bred, Open Time: 7 p.m. Distance: 1,600m (1 mile))

“I was thrilled to be invited and am excited to be riding against world-class jockeys for world-class trainers,” Allpress said.

“Hopefully I can show what I can do, but in a challenge like this, a lot comes down to the luck of the draw.

“I can’t wait to get out on the track,” she added. “My first impressions were ‘wow.’ We don’t really have anything like this back at home, so I’m really excited to be a part of this.”

In the second leg, Mike Smith, the most successful jockey in Breeders’ Cup history, will ride Sun Hat, a three-time winner in England and a previous winner over 1,650m in Saudi Arabia.

Group 1 winning trainer Bader Rizaiq could make history with two runners, Aeisam and Nassohah, in the second leg of the challenge. Leading British jockey Nicola Currie will ride Aeisam, while Nassohah will be ridden by Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson. 

In the third leg, Dettori will ride five-time winner Sha Aem, while Adel Alfouraidi will ride Bajeer, a winner of his last start.

French jockey Mickaelle Michel has a strong chance of finishing the challenge on a high in leg four on recent winner Bint Alaqeelah, while Japanese star Yutaka Take has an outside chance on Yafooz.