Former Arsenal and Cameroon defender Lauren has warned Liverpool that they could be without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for the opening games of the Premier League after their participation in the African Cup of Nations.
Salah is set to kick off the continental showpiece today when his nation Egypt play Zimbabwe while Sadio Mane will be in action on Sunday when Senegal takes on Tanzania. Salah has played a total of 9,379 minutes for Liverpool and Egypt, including 8,461 for the Reds, over the last two seasons.
Mane is fourth on the list of game time for players at the AFCON with 9,059 minutes for Senegal and Liverpool, including 7,789 minutes for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
In an interview with bwin, Lauren warned the Reds that they could miss the services of Mane and Salah for the opening games of the season, "Whatever happens, Liverpool will need to start the season without Salah and Mane, as they will need a good couple of weeks to rest and recuperate.
"Otherwise their level will drop during the season. Players will be mentally and physically exhausted and will need a few weeks to recuperate before heading into the new Premier League season. If they don’t get the rest, there will be a chance that their Premier League campaign will be impacted by a slow start as the players are just too tired to play.
"This could be trouble for Liverpool as both Salah and Mane will likely be involved in the latter stages of the African Cup of Nations."
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