Published: Tue, January 31, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Sadio Mane remains a doubt for Liverpool's key Chelsea clash

Sadio Mane remains a doubt for Liverpool's key Chelsea clash

The 24-year-old is set to return to Anfield in the coming days after Senegal were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the quarter-final, after losing to Cameroon on penalties.

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool's attempts to fly Sadio Mane back early from the African Cup of Nations were denied.

In Mane's absence - his last game was the 2-2 draw at Sunderland on January 2nd - Liverpool have won just once (against Sky Bet League Two Plymouth) in seven matches and scored only five goals.

Liverpool is 10 points adrift of Chelsea, which has an eight-point lead over second-placed Arsenal heading into a full round of midweek fixtures spread over Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another defeat would be crushing for Klopp and his players, and so the need for Mane, who has been a revelation at Anfield since his summer switch from Southampton, is evident.

But yesterday he suggested that Liverpool with their backs to the wall at home could be just the ticket to revive a title battle that is in danger of flat-lining. "I have to look in his eyes, then make a decision". "We can't force it".

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"I don't know exactly [when he will be available]", Klopp said at a pre-match press conference. "It is a very good player back for selection, that can only be good news". I spoke to him, it's all good so far.

Klopp described Mane as "kind of an option" for Chelsea and reiterated that they "have to see" but said that he's "back at least for the Hull City game" which is "of course good for us".

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Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has had no such issues with his first team, fielding effectively the same XI every week and seeing them reel off win after win.

"Losing three home games feels less than average. And we can win the next game".

Speaking exclusively from his base in Cyprus, Abdullahi told aoifootball.com that the Indomitable Lions have always been a torn in Nigeria's flesh and are seen as one of the biggest threats to her quest to get the World Cup ticket.

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