Published On: Thu, Oct 24th, 2019

Liverpool news: Salah and Mane facing hectic schedule in 2021 which could hinder Reds | Football | Sport

Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will seek help from their club as they prepare for a hectic schedule in 20 months time.

Earlier this year it was announced that the FIFA Council had approved a re-format of the FIFA Club World Cup.

It will now become a 24-team competition following a meeting between FIFA’s strategic and decision making body.

Of those present, there were 25 votes in favour with seven voting against.

The 2021 edition of the competition will now have eight groups consisting of three teams each. Group winners will then qualify for the quarter-finals which will be knockout fixtures.

Liverpool (who are also playing at this year’s Club World Cup in December in Qatar) and Chelsea are set to compete in the tournament which will take place in China, following their success in last season’s Champions League and Europa League. Six other European teams are set to join them.

It will begin on June 17, 2021 and ends on July 4. That sparks one major problem for Salah and Mane.

The pair and Naby Keita will be expected at the African Cup of Nations should Egypt, Senegal and Guinea qualify.

Bizarrely, the 2021 African Cup of Nations begins on June 11 before ending on July 9, leaving some overlap between the two competitions.

Not only is there a club versus country row brewing, but the situation will also anger Liverpool ahead of their preparations for the 2021/22 Premier League season.

It could well by Jurgen Klopp’s last in charge at Anfield, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2022.

Mane was left heartbroken in July when Senegal were beaten 1-0 by Algeria in the African Cup of Nations final in Egypt.

He will be keen to make amends in 2021 when the competition heads to Cameroon.

The Premier League season usually finishes in the second week of May, leaving players with just over a month to get some extra rest in before they embark on one of the tournaments, if not both.

Jurgen Klopp is not one to shy away from expressing his feelings on fixture congestion.

Since arriving in England, the German has expressed his frustration at the way the Premier League continues without a break over the festive period.

He will not be best pleased when made aware of the 2021 schedule, but there is still plenty of times to find solutions and he will expect FIFA to help.


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