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Report: Liverpool Players Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane And Naby Keita Could Miss Eight Games Due To AFCON

A report has been issued this morning claiming that Liverpool could be missing Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita for up to eight games during The Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON).

This will come as a big blow to Liverpool fans who had initially thought a maximum of two Premier League games would be missed by their players.

AFCON Means Players Could Miss Eight Matches

Adam Levanthal of the Athletic has today explained what the actual impact could be on those clubs who have players representing their countries at the AFCON.

The report explains that whilst its dependent on how the countries fare at the tournament, they could miss up to six Premier League and two FA Cup games.

Levanthal goes on to explain the players are expected to leave after the Premier League fixtures on Boxing Day (26th December) and if they reach the final will not return until the second week of February.

Can Clubs Delay The Release Of The Players?

The impacted clubs will now enter a period of negotiation with the Football Associations of the competing nations to try and limit the impact as much as possible.

The tournament is not scheduled to begin until 9th January and Liverpool players are not due in action until Mane's Senegal and Keita's Guinea play the following day.

Clubs will be trying to hang on to their assets until a week before the dates of the first matches for their players.

Should this be agreed by the countries then it would mean the trio being available for two tough away games against Leicester City on the 28th December and Chelsea on 2nd January.

LFCTR Verdict

Whilst this was a known issue for Liverpool, the impact maybe more severe than initially thought.

It also brings into question the lack of transfer activity in the summer in forward areas as they will lose two of their main forwards to the tournament.

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Liverpool Fixtures Potentially Impacted By AFCON

28th December   Leicester (a)

2nd January         Chelsea (a)

8th January          FA Cup Round 3

15th January        Brentford (h)

22nd January       Crystal Palace (a)

29th January        FA Cup Round 4

9th February         Leicester City (h)

12th February       Burnley (a)

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