By Merseyside correspondent Cam Downes
Mamadous Sakho will miss around three weeks with a hamstring injury in a blow to Liverpool’s faint chance of clinching a top-four Premier League finish.
Football Insider sources understands that scan results have revealed the extent of the damage sustained by the French defender in last Wednesday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay win over Blackburn.
It means Sakho will be sidelined for Monday night’s home clash with Newcastle, the FA Cup semi-final with Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday and the subsequent league clashes against West Brom and Hull.
Liverpool hope the centre-back will be back available for the home match against QPR on May 2.
Sakho’s absence is a blow to Brendan Rodgers’ defensive plans as he prepares the team for the Newcastle match, as Liverpool are already without the banned Martin Skrtel.
Rodgers must decide whether to stick with the 4-3-3 formation used against Blackburn, with Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure both impressing after Sakho limped off, or revert to the three-man defensive line that revitalised Liverpool’s season.
The availability of Emre Can after serving a one-match suspension is likely to be a major factor in influencing Rodgers’ strategy.