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Africa Cup of Nations 2017

Liverpool Continue to Struggle without Saido Mane

Liverpool have continued to struggle in the league without the services of their prized Senegalese forward Saido Mane. They have suffered another shocking setback today as they hosted bottom side Swansea at the Anifield.

The struggling Swans put a dent in Liverpool’s title hopes with two quick Fernando Llorente goals at the start of the second half to take the lead in the 53rd minute.

Roberto Firimino scored two to get his side back in the 69th minute but the swans were quick to return the fire taking the lead just three minutes later through Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Liverpool haven’t won a game since their prized £30 million summer signing Saido Mane left for the African cup. The 24-year-old has been phenomenon at the African cup so far helping Senegal top Group B with a maximum six points.

Mane has also been a revelation at Liverpool this season starting all the 19 games he’s played for the side. He is their current top scorer with nine goals and four assists in his first season.

Out of the five games Liverpool have played without the new Anifield crowd favorite, they have managed a disappointing two draws, two losses and just one win against lower league Plymouth.

He is likely to miss close to eight games if Senegal go through to the final including crucial clashes like the much awaited encounter against table leaders Chelsea.

If Senegal progress from Group B, they are then likely to face either hosts Gabon or fancied Cameroon in the first knockout stage on Sunday, January 28th which means with Chelsea visiting just 48 hours later, there’s definitely no possibility of Mane being part of the clash.

The AFCON semi-finals then take place on Wednesday February 1 and Thursday February 2, just days before Liverpool’s Saturday afternoon trip to Hull.

The Africa Cup of Nations final will take place on Sunday February 5 with the third/fourth place play-off the previous day when Liverpool are on Humberside. Mane will at best be back for the visit against Tottenham on Saturday, February 11 if his side go all the way to the finals.

The Reds have continued to suffer in the final third and without Mane’s brilliant pace, energy and forward runs, and Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp might have to consider using the transfer window for a possible short term solution if they want to continue their title charge.


Featured Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

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