Liverpool vs Red Bull Salzburg - Mane plays down spat with 'good friend' Salah

Posted Wednesday, October 02, 2019 by PA

Liverpool vs Red Bull Salzburg - Mane plays down spat with 'good friend' Salah

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have settled their on-field differences and are ready to get Liverpool’s Champions League campaign up and running.

The Senegal forward showed a rare display of emotion when he was substituted at Burnley last month, furious that his team-mate had not passed to him when he was in a better position.

It led to suggestions that all was not harmonious between the pair, but Mane dismissed that when asked how his relationship was with the Egypt international.

“Good question. I think things can happen in football,” he said.

“I felt a little bit frustrated because it is football and you want to score more goals – you can see Man City score eight, six, seven.

“For the team, it was really important for us to score as many goals as possible.

“It can happen, he didn’t see me and I was frustrated. We are really good friends.”

In order to highlight the issue was now over, Mane said he was cracking jokes about it in the dressing room on Monday.

“(On Monday) I said, ‘Gini (Wijnaldum), tell Mo why Sadio wanted to beat you in the Burnley game’,” the forward added. “It is forgotten, all behind us.”

Mane and Salah, along with fellow forward Roberto Firmino, will lead the line at home to Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield as the Champions League returns to Anfield for the first time since the memorable 4-0 semi-final victory over Barcelona.

However, centre-back Joel Matip, a virtual ever-present this season, will miss out with a knock along with midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.

“Both not available. It is not a big one (for Matip) but it is big enough. We don’t want to take any risks,” said manager Jurgen Klopp, who could not say at this stage whether Matip would be fit for Saturday’s visit of Leicester.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has been sidelined since the first match of the season with a calf injury, has a chance of making a return on Saturday, although a comeback against Manchester United after the international break looks more likely.

“There are two opinions. One is Ali’s opinion and the other is the medical department,” Klopp said.

“We have to wait, I think, so we have to see. Training is going really well but it was a serious injury and we don’t want to take a chance.

“(Wednesday), no chance, and then we have to see for Leicester. United game, probably 100 per cent.”

Meanwhile, Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch believes “the sky’s the limit” for young striker Erling Braut Haaland.

The 19-year-old son of former Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland has already scored four hat-tricks this season in a tally of 17 goals in nine matches.

He looks set to start after recovering from illness which ruled him out of the club’s last two matches.

“He is healthy and ready. The only decision is whether he is ready to start or to bring him off the bench,” said Marsch.

“He is a big part of our team. He has scored a lot of goals and is a big threat.

“He is still so young but as long as he keeps his mentality straight and keeps his focus on all the right things – which I think because he has a father who played football it is a little bit easier for him to understand the expectations on him – I think the sky is the limit for him.”

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