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Chris Sutton warns Liverpool they will suffer the most from the Africa Cup of Nations of any Premier League side by losing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, via his Daily Mail column.

Jurgen Klopp will lose his two star forwards in the New Year while they represent Egypt and Senegal respectively. And could be without the pair from January 9 through to February 6.

The German also does not yet know if their countries will demand they arrive ahead of the tournament for training. A decision that may keep them from January’s clash with Chelsea.

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Liverpool visit Chelsea on January 2 in a match with potentially huge consequences in the Premier League title race. The clubs are currently only separated by two-points, with the Reds trailing the table-topping Blues and second-place Manchester City by just a point.

Sutton issues Liverpool ‘fine margins’ warning over Salah, Mane and AFCON

Sutton fears the implications the AFCON may have on Liverpool’s title ambitions with Klopp losing Salah and Mane through January. As while other clubs will also lose players, no team will lose as many of their biggest names.

“It will hurt them, without a doubt,” Sutton wrote. “How could losing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for a month or so not?

“Salah is the Premier League’s best player. He’s the leading scorer, and that solo-strike against Manchester City in October deserves to win the 2021/22 goal of the season.

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“The Africa Cup of Nations starts on January 9. Jurgen Klopp does not know if Salah and Mane will be around to face Chelsea the week before, or if they will be jetting off for a pre-AFCON training camp with their respective nations.

“Worse still, while away, they could pick up injuries or get caught up in the ever-changing covid restrictions and need to isolate on return.

“Other clubs will lose players, too. But it is Liverpool who will take the biggest hit. Even a single point lost could prove costly in this race of fine margins.”

Klopp will be sweating over Reds duo’s availability against Chelsea

Klopp will be sweating over Egypt and Senegal giving Salah and Mane permission to feature when Liverpool visit Chelsea.

Salah has contributed 11 of the Anfield outfit’s 39 Premier League goals so far this season. Only Jamie Vardy (45%), Raphinha (42%) and Maxwel Cornet (36%) have offered a greater contribution (28%) of their side’s goals.

But Salah is also the Reds’ lead playmaker with eight assists. Trent Alexander-Arnold (7) is the only Liverpool player to have also provided more than the two with two.

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