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Liverpool Face Mane & Salah Crisis After AFCON Announcement

Reigning European champions Liverpool could be faced with a crisis next season, with star players Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both affected by CAF's latest decision to move the dates of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament once again.

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On Wednesday, host nation Cameroon confirmed that the 2021 edition of AFCON will be played between 9 January and 6 February, reverting back from the previous edition which was held across June and July.

The decision to move the tournament has serious implications for European clubs, none more so than 2018/19 UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool, who could be set to lose three of their stars midway through the season. 

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Jurgen Klopp's side could be without star forwards Mane and Salah, as well as midfielder Naby Keita, should the respective players' nations qualify for Africa's showpiece tournament. 

The absence of the former pair, in particular, could be a blow for the Reds' title and European hopes, with the duo forming part of one of world football's most prolific attacking tridents, alongside Brazil forward Roberto Firmino. 

Read: New Dates For 2021 AFCON Confirmed

Should that eventuality arise, Liverpool would likely need to bolster their attacking options at the end of the current season, or rely on the likes of Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino or Xherdan Shaqiri to fill the void, although the latter instance would leave the club short in reserve. 

What do you make of the decision to move AFCON back to January next year? Share your thoughts by commenting in the section below.

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