Jurgen Klopp hails Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as ‘forces of nature’ after recovering from AFCON duty to lead Liverpool’s trophy hunt… as he warns his side must be ‘top class to even have a chance’ of beating Inter Milan in the Champions League
- Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are both ‘forces of nature’
- The attacking pair are back from AFCON duty and got straight back to action
- Salah and Mane are expected to start Wednesday night’s clash with Inter Milan
- Klopp warned his players must be ‘top class’ to have a chance in the San Siro
Jurgen Klopp has hailed Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as ‘forces of nature’ as the pair prepare to lead Liverpool’s charge for a quadruple after their Africa Cup of Nations exploits.
Salah returned to Liverpool duty from the tournament in Cameroon off the bench against Leicester last week while Mane started in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Burnley.
Both Salah and Mane played over 600 minutes across seven AFCON matches as Mane’s Senegal beat Salah and Egypt in the final on penalties.
Jurgen Klopp has hailed Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as ‘forces of nature’
The pair have recovered from their AFCON exploits to lead Liverpool’s charge for silverware
Neither wasted too much time celebrating or commiserating and both are expected to start the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 tie with Inter Milan on Wednesday night.
Speaking about his two star men, Klopp said: A week (to recover) is now no problem.
‘Both players don’t drink which is a major problem if you are celebrating. It extends recovery time.
‘They were fit the day after the game (the AFCON final). Both are a force of nature.
‘Hopefully it stays forever that they recovery extremely quickly. Yes for Mo it was a few days and Sadio a week but again I’m not surprised.’
The Reds are still battling on four fronts this season, although Manchester City are nine points clear at the top of the Premier League with Liverpool holding a game in hand.
The first leg with Inter comes amid a hectic schedule for Liverpool, with the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on February 27, an FA Cup fifth round tie with Norwich on March 2 and league games with Manchester United and West Ham on the horizon.
Klopp warned his players they must be ‘top class to even have a chance’ of beating Inter Milan
Liverpool, who were European champions in 2019, are favourites to progress past Inter in the round of 16 although Klopp is under no illusions on how tough they will be to beat.
The German added: ‘The difference between Inter and Burnley is massive in parts but not other parts. It is still a football game.
‘If we are dominant, Inter will defend pretty compact. It will not be as windy or rainy as in Burnley but it’s Inter. They are a top top class team with top players and a top manager.
‘They are probably the best team again in Italy. They are rock solid, have creativity in the pitch, are organised and well drilled in everything and have individual quality.
‘It’s the Champions League. No doubt they are a top team and we have to show a top class performance to even have a chance.’