Sadio Mane Angers Jurgen Klopp, Set To Miss Key Fixtures Along with Chelsea Game
The Liverpool attacker scored for Senegal in the 2-0 win over Zimbabwe as his country clinched their place in the knockout stages of the tournament.
It means Mane will not return to Liverpool before February 4, ruling him out of the top of the table clash with Chelsea and several other games.
Games Mane will definitely miss
Swansea (H) – Jan 21 PL
Southampton (H) – Jan 25 EFL Cup second leg
Wolves (H) – Jan 28 FA Cup
Chelsea (H) – Jan 31 PL
Possible miss: Hull (A) – Feb 4 PL
Liverpool supporters were, of course, braced for the fact Mane would miss the crucial game with the winger set to watch from afar as his club team-mates take on Swansea, Southampton, Wolves and possibly Hull.
Mane should be back around February 4 should Senegal lose their quarter-final clash and may be given a short rest by Jurgen Klopp with the Reds travelling to Hull that day.
Should Senegal triumph in their quarter-final, then Mane is in danger of missing another big home tie with Tottenham on February 11.
But Liverpool fans will be delighted to see Mane keep up his excellent form with the 24-year-old scoring in both of Senegal’s games so far.
However, Klopp admits he has mixed emotions after Mane’s goal sent Senegal through to the AFCON knockout stages.
“I text him last night,” Klopp said. “I told him I could really kick him in the lower back.
“They are through and he scored – that is good. Mixed emotions but as long as he is fit.”
Klopp is without Mane and Joel Matip due to the confusion surrounding his participation in the tournament. But the Liverpool boss is not making excuses for their poor form
“We knew about the AFCON before – it is the same for all teams,” he said.
“We have a lot of respect for what they are doing there. It is not too cool being in the middle of our season. The Matip case is special and we do not feel that it is fair. We do what we can – we cannot change it or turn it in our direction. It is another experience.”
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