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Klopp defends Salah goal record amid Liverpool forward's four-match drought

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LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp has reassured Mohamed Salah his goals have been central to Liverpool's Premier League title push this season amid the Egyptian's four-match goal drought.

Salah wasted a number of golden opportunities in last weekend's goalless draw at Everton and has never gone five straight matches without a goal in a Liverpool shirt.

Liverpool sit one point behind leaders Manchester City in the table, with Salah also trailing Sergio Aguero by one goal in the Golden Boot race.

"We have very often talks and everything," Klopp told a news conference on Friday. "Of course when you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in the game, you want to score with them.

"But as a manager, I'm more than used to that players don't score all the time. That's how it is. He has an unbelievable record. His goals brought us where we are -- not only, but it was a big part of it. No, we didn't really speak about it or whatever because it's completely normal.

"We have to create chances. In a very difficult game against Everton, we had four or five proper chances. We had less than that in games when we won against Everton, to be honest. This game, always one Everton leg was in between us and the goal or [Jordan] Pickford. That's the situation, but nothing else."

If Salah were to score against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday, then he would equal Alan Shearer's Premier League record for reaching 50 goals for a single club in the fewest amount of games.

James Milner will need to be assessed before Sunday's encounter due to a muscular issue, while Dejan Lovren has returned to full training after two months out with a hamstring injury.

Joe Gomez, meanwhile, has stepped up his recovery from a lower leg fracture and should be able to return following the upcoming international break.

"Joe is now running with 100 percent of his weight, because we have different opportunities to run," Klopp said. "Now he is really at 100 percent and it's good -- it looks good.

"Dejan we have to see. He was out for a while, so we have to see how his fitness is exactly. He is not injured anymore, he is fit -- but how fit, we have to see.

"Millie [Milner] we will have to see. It is Millie, so everything heals quicker with him. He was already outside yesterday. He had a little muscle issue, but there are still two days to go until the game. I think if you ask Millie he would say: 'I will be ready' but we have to see."

There was further good news for Liverpool on Friday when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 40 minutes for the club's Under-23 side vs. Derby. The England international has been out of first-team action since suffering a knee ligament injury in April 2018.