Liverpool to Profit from Sadio Mané's Return Ahead of Top Four Race
January was a nightmare month for Liverpool. The Reds were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Claude Puel’s Southampton before suffering an embarrassing defeat to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Not even Philippe Coutinho’s long-awaited return from an ankle injury could turn Liverpool’s fortunes around; but Sadio Mané could help the Reds get back to winning ways now that he is officially back after the Africa Cup of Nations.
Prior to Mané’s departure at the start of January, Liverpool were second in the table – just a handful of points behind runaway leaders Chelsea. The Reds are now 11 points adrift of Antonio Conte’s men and the title is now out of the question.
Liverpool supporters are desperate for Premier League success but it isn’t going to happen this year. Klopp’s men are now in a direct battle with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City and Manchester United for one of the four coveted Champions League spots.
With trips to champions Leicester and a visit to the Etihad Stadium, fans will be eagerly anticipating a few successful away days. Even though a recent Voucherbox study discovered that your average Liverpool fan spends £943.20 on travel and tickets for away games every season as opposed to £783.80 for home games, supporters would be willing to spend double that amount if Champions League football was involved.
Over the years, Liverpool fans have developed an affinity with the European Cup and a top four finish HAS to be their number one priority this season. Just imagine those away days in Barcelona, Rome and Paris...
With Mané and Coutinho linking back up with Roberto Firmino upfront, Liverpool fans will be quietly confident of securing a top four finish. At the time of writing, the Reds have notched 52 goals this season – and that was without two key components of their attack for a large chunk of the campaign.
Mané has scored nine Premier League goals this year; more than any of his teammates and that statistic alone shows just how influential he is to Klopp’s offense. Liverpool’s attacking trident might just be the best in England’s top flight and the Reds will blow teams away if Mané and co hit their stride.
Liverpool with Sadio Mane per 90 in the league this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 3, 2017
Chances created: 14.20
Chances created: 9.33
Goals: 1.33 pic.twitter.com/C9e7l3j3Um
Liverpool have won just twice in 2017 and one of those victories was a 1-0 win over League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup replay. Mané was ineffective in the recent defeat to Hull City but the Senegal man ran riot against Tottenham last weekend and will be confident of regaining his best form in the coming weeks.
On his day, Mané is capable of winning matches on his own; that is why Klopp was so keen to fork out £34 million on the 24-year-old. The Coutinho-Mané-Firmino trident were thriving before the Brazilian’s injury and a favourable run of fixtures could see the Reds climb back up towards the top of the division.
Klopp’s side struggled to adapt without Coutinho but Mané is Liverpool’s new main man. Watch this space; the Reds WILL string a run of results together with their potent offense firing on all cylinders and a Champions League place beckons if Klopp’s defensive unit can hold it together.