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Jurgen Klopp lavishes praise on Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ahead of 2021 AFCON Final

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Reds attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane

The two wingers have helped their respective nations make it into the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final. Salah has scored twice and assisted once for Egypt while Mane has recorded three goals and two assists for Senegal. The two teams will clash in the final of the tournament tonight (February 6).

On the same date, Liverpool will host Cardiff City in an FA Cup fourth-round clash. Ahead of the match, Klopp was asked by the press how he would deal with Salah and Mane's return to Anfield. The duo are likely to go through a range of contrasting emotions as only one of them will be able to lift the AFCON trophy.

Klopp responded (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo):

“I’m not the type of guy who thinks everything will be a problem. Both players had a successful tournament and we will see the same situation next year, in late-November and early-December, exactly the same when everybody is coming back from the World Cup.”

Klopp was also asked whether the duo would be physically and mentally ready to be thrown into action immediately after returning. The German tactician replied by praising his players and said:

“These two boys are real warriors. They are constantly ready. They are both not worried about holiday, about days off and stuff like this. I never heard them ask anything about having time off. I never did. Especially with these two boys it is really pretty simple.”

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah could return in time for Liverpool's next league fixture

Liverpool will certainly be without Salah and Mane for the clash against Cardiff. However, both forwards could be back in the squad for their next Premier League outing.

The Reds host Leicester City on February 10 and a win would take them to within six points of league leaders Manchester City. Klopp would ideally like to have his two star forwards for what could prove to be a tricky contest. However, he stated that the decision will be made later, saying:

“I can imagine both will want to play against Leicester, both will want to be involved, want to score goals and want to win football games for Liverpool. That’s how it is. We have a few days until we have to make that decision. I didn’t think too much about it because the boys will come back and then we’ll talk.”

Salah and Mane are among the top three goalscorers for the Reds this season. The Egyptian forward leads the charts, having scored 23 goals in 26 matches (all comps.), while the Senegalese is third with 10 goals from the same number of games.