Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been told he must start Mohamed Salah in their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Egyptian star started the season in red-hot form but has dipped off in recent weeks, failing to find the net in his last five appearances.
He does still lead the Premier League in terms of goals and provided a brilliant assist for Sadio Mane in the 2-2 draw with City last weekend.
And for that reason, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has told Klopp he must start the winger at Wembley on Sunday.
Murphy told the BBC: “I agree that he hasn’t been playing as well as he can do, but let’s not forget that since the 29-year-old Egyptian joined Liverpool in 2017, he has set standards with his goalscoring numbers above anything we thought could be possible.
“We are judging him against his own ridiculous record and the fact his statistics over the past two months are more ordinary does not change the fact he is capable of scoring remarkable goals that no-one else on the pitch can, whoever the opposition are.
“That in itself is enough of a reason to pick him, but on top of that you have to remember the effect his mere presence will have on City.
“Regardless of whether Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake or Oleksandr Zinchenko play at left-back for City this weekend, they would fear Salah at all times.
“They all love to get forward themselves but they know that, when they do, they are leaving the Premier League’s best goalscorer behind them. That is a very different dynamic to anyone else they could go up against in Liverpool’s team.
“While Salah didn’t score at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, he still had a huge impact on the game, not least with his perfect pass for Sadio Mane to make it 2-2 at the start of the second half.
“I am expecting more of the same this time, and it would not surprise me at all if Salah actually scores the winner, because he has done it so many times before.”
Liverpool have a number of options in attack and Klopp could choose a number of different ways to set his side up for the clash, but Murphy believes Roberto Firmino should be given the nod.
“It is not just Salah whose place is in doubt. Jurgen Klopp has got some big decisions to make about who gets into his front three, because of the competition for places that first Diogo Jota and now Luis Diaz have brought to their attack.
“Jota got the nod over Roberto Firmino to start against City last weekend. But I think what happened in that game means we might see more of Firmino this time.
“Like Diaz, Jota has been a wonderful buy but neither of them can do the job that Firmino does for the team in keeping hold of the ball and getting it up the pitch.”
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