Klopp talks AFCON; gives update on availability of Liverpool pair for Chelsea clash

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Unknown availability of Salah & Mané

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp gave an update surrounding the availability of key Liverpool forward pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané for their crunch Premier League clash against Thomas Tuchel’s table-topping Chelsea on matchday 21.

The issue comes from the inevitable clash with AFCON cropping up mid-season, with both Salah and Mané set to feature in starring roles for headline nations Egypt and Senegal during the winter tournament.

But for Klopp and Liverpool, the notion of being stripped of two of their most influential attacking players, against a direct rival, is hardly music to the ears of Reds fans the world over.

Still, the Liverpool boss has not officially ruled out their involvement in the clash at Stamford Bridge on 2 January, with the German hopeful that the attacking pair could be available before heading off to Cameroon.

Liverpool stroll against Southampton

Liverpool was back at it again against Southampton at Anfield earlier today, earning their second successive 4-0 win in front of the home support after thumping Arsenal by the same scoreline last weekend.

Jürgen Klopp on chances of Liverpool pair Salah & Mane featuring against Chelsea before AFCON

Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Liverpool at Brentford Community Stadium in London on September 25, 2021. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Diogo Jota bagged a brace to set the Reds off and running before growing midfielder Thiago and center-back stalwart Virgil van Dijk put the result far beyond doubt.

The result saw Liverpool climb back into second spot behind Chelsea, with Klopp’s troops hopeful of West Ham taking at least a point of Manchester City tomorrow as the Citizens now find themselves in need of a win to leapfrog the Reds back into second.

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Their impressive return of 39-goals in just thirteen Premier League fixtures stands as a testament that both Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola are set to be pushed all the way to the final weeks of the season if they are to hope to secure any Premier League honors.

If Salah and co. have anything to say about it, Anfield could end up as the seat of power of the Premier League champions come season’s end.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 12 26 29
2 Manchester City 12 19 26
3 Liverpool FC 12 24 25
4 West Ham United 12 9 23
5 Arsenal FC 12 -4 20
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 0 19
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Manchester United 12 -1 17
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 12 -2 17
10 Crystal Palace 12 1 16
11 Everton FC 12 -3 15
12 Leicester City 12 -5 15
13 Southampton FC 12 -3 14
14 Brentford FC 12 -1 13
15 Aston Villa 12 -4 13
16 Watford FC 12 -4 13
17 Leeds United 12 -8 11
18 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
19 Norwich City 12 -20 8
20 Newcastle United 12 -12 6
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Raphinha Leeds United 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 4
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
King, Joshua Watford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4

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