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Jurgen Klopp speaks out on Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane competition ahead of AFCON final


Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane go head-to-head later today when Egypt take on Senegal in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde, Cameroon

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Jurgen Klopp is counting on Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to go to war for Liverpool – regardless of which player returns to Anfield as a ­champion of Africa.

The Kop’s brilliant front two face off against each other in the AFCON final in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium tonight, when Salah’s Egypt meet Mane’s Senegal.

Klopp is aware it will be heaven for one and hell for the other – and will be sympathetic to the needs of both men when they report back for club duty ahead of Thursday’s game against Leicester.

But the Anfield boss insisted: “These two boys are real warriors. They are constantly ready, they are both not worried about holidays or days off. I never heard them ask about it.

MAKE YOUR PREDICTION! Who will come out on top in Sunday’s AFCON final? Let us know here

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The Liverpool stars will go head-to-head in tonight’s AFCON final
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)

“So with these two boys it is really simple. I know they want to play immediately but ­together with them we have to find out how much sense it makes.

“You can imagine both want to play against Leicester, to score goals and win games for Liverpool.

“But it’s a few days until we have to make a decision.”

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Klopp added: “Mo and Sadio have both had a successful Africa Cup of Nations, but there is one winner and all the rest lose. That is the world we created for these boys. Thank you for asking, because no one asks how they deal with it.

“But I can deal with it no ­problem. I will help them with all I have. When they come back, we will have to talk and we will see if they need anything.

“If they need a day off, or this kind of thing. They are our boys, we will do everything to help them in all situations.”

Liverpool paid £36.5million to Roma in 2017 to link up Salah with Mane, who had arrived from Southampton 12 months earlier for £34m. Between them they have now scored 255 goals all told for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp could be back at full strength for the clash with Leicester next week

There has been the odd flare-up, not that Klopp is concerned.

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He said: “Do they have a ­competition? It is a completely normal, natural thing.”

Liverpool meet ­ Cardiff in the FA Cup this lunchtime, but the league visit of ­Leicester on Thursday night will be in Klopp’s thinking.

The Foxes inflicted a 1-0 ­defeat in the reverse ­fixture, Salah missing a penalty and Mane a golden chance. Klopp said: “This club has to win every game.

“For this we need brilliant players – and these boys over the past few years have done an incredible job for us.”

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