In pictures: Leicester v Liverpool
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Liverpool take on Chelsea this Sunday with both sides desperate to keep up with Manchester City in the Premier League title race. Sadio Mane has found himself on a barren run in front of goal recently.
It has not been an easy period for Mane in front of goal despite Liverpool’s success recently and he could find himself out of the line-up soon.
The Senegal international was guilty of a shocking miss in the Reds’ latest match, which saw them lose 1-0 to Leicester.
And with City continuing their rampant run with 10 Premier League wins in a row, it was a huge blow in the title race for Jurgen Klopp.
Luckily, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota have picked up the slack and have been scoring for fun this season while Mane has toiled.
The 30-year-old has netted seven in 19 Premier League appearances – no meek effort – but what is concerning is the absence of his name on the scoresheet for the last seven of those matches.
And with a trip to Stamford Bridge to come on Sunday, Klopp cannot abide passengers with a win for either side set to land a telling punch in the battle for the title.
However, any temptation to drop Mane should be dispelled considering the devastation the forward caused the last time he was in west London.
With Frank Lampard at the helm fresh from spending over £200m in the transfer window, Chelsea were looking to lodge a title bid in September when Liverpool arrived on King’s Road.
But the Reds put them firmly back in their place after a controlled display from the visitors where Mane scored a brace, leading to a 2-0 win.
Even before he had scored, he had caused havoc in the Chelsea backline when Andreas Christensen was sent off for a last-man challenge on the ex-Southampton star.
After the break, Mane scored his first when Roberto Firmino crossed the ball to allow him to nod home and his second came after an almighty error from Kepa Arrizabalaga – though it was the striker’s pressure that forced the Spaniard into the mistake.
In many ways, it was a complete performance from Mane – constantly pressing and stretching the Chelsea defence.
In fact, that was not the only time the former RB Leipzig star has been the scorn of the Blues, netting twice in their UEFA Super Cup win in 2019.
So if Klopp had any thoughts on dropping Mane, he ought to think again and look back at recent history – because he must be a dead-cert to start.
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