Liverpool attacking duo Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz are more important players for Liverpool than Mohamed Salah ahead of the Champions League final, talkSPORT have said.
The Reds take to the pitch for the 63rd and final time this season when they take on Real Madrid on Saturday night at the Stade de France, aiming to secure a seventh European Cup – with live commentary on talkSPORT.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have played every game possible this season, reaching the final in all three knockout competitions, and their aim now is to add European glory to their FA Cup and Carabao Cup success.
It remains to be seen who the Kop boss opts for in his front three, but it will likely be the talismanic trio of Salah, Mane and Diaz.
Brazil international Roberto Firmino and Portugal striker Diogo Jota have been rotated in and out of that No.9 position but will most likely have to settle for a place as a substitute this time around.
However, Salah has been warned that his place in the starting XI may not be 100% secure due to his recent form.
The Egyptian king enjoyed another outstanding Premier League season, finishing with 22 goals – level with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min as the pair shared the Golden Boot on the final day of the campaign.
Salah has scored 31 goals in all competitions and has eight this season in the Champions League, but has been in poor shape in recent weeks – likely the result of a long campaign which has also seen him reach the Champions League final. Africa Cup of Nations. .
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Meanwhile, Diaz has enjoyed a stunning start to life at Anfield, scoring eight times since joining Liverpool from Porto in January, and finding the net four times in Europe’s elite competition.
Mane also has 23 goals in all competitions to his name, including five so far in the Champions League, and has been one of the Reds’ most consistent players this season.
Former Chelsea and Benfica defender Scott Minto believes Mane and Diaz will be more crucial in beating Real Madrid than Salah, in their current form.
“I would put Luis Diaz and Sadio ahead of him [Salah]right now,” Minto said on Kick Off.
“Only one game, against Real Madrid, if I could only play two of those three, I would play against Luis Diaz and Mane.
“I don’t think Salah was close to the level he had in the first half of the season.
“In the first half of the season he was the best player on the planet.
“But in the second half of the season, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane were better, for me.”
Salah has mixed memories of his two Champions League final experiences, having been forced out with an injury in his first in 2018 – against Real Madrid after a clash with Sergio Ramos – then winning a year later against Tottenham at Madrid.
Speaking ahead of his third final, the Egyptian admitted his experience in Kyiv remains a difficult memory, having previously spoken of a revenge mission against the Spanish giants.
Time will tell if he will have that chance from the first whistle, if he is named in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI.
“I remember when I left, it was the worst moment of my career. I was really depressed at that time,” Salah said this week.
“We had a good season and got to the Champions League final, then I left.
“It was the worst thing that happened to a player. I knew the result from the hospital. We couldn’t lose that way.
“I’m very motivated after what happened with Madrid last time. And, after what happened on Sunday [missing out on the Premier League by a single point], everyone is motivated to win the Champions League. Everyone is excited for it.
“I’m just focused with the team. I still want the Champions League. I want to see Hendo [captain Jordan Henderson] with the trophy again and I hope he gives it to me afterwards.
Tune in to talkSPORT for LIVE commentary of Liverpool v Real Madrid in the Champions League final – Saturday May 28 – Kick off: 8.00pm BST
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