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Liverpool fear they could lose Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to AFCON a week EARLIER

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Liverpool have been handed a fresh concern with a proposal for the African Cup of Nations to start one week earlier than planned.

The tournament is currently scheduled to get underway in Cameroon on January 9 and come to a conclusion on February 6.

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Liverpool are hoping to keep star players Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, as well as midfielder Naby Keita, for as long as possible with a huge clash against one of their title rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 2.

They have made suggestions to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the tournament to instead kick off on January 3.

This would likely mean Liverpool as well as other Premier League teams could lose their African stars earlier than they had hoped.

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Al Ahly have made the proposal in order to aid their own hopes at the upcoming Club World Cup.

The CAF Champions League holders are set to take part in the tournament in the UAE, which gets underway three days before the AFCON is supposed to finish.

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That would likely mean they would likely head to the tournament without several key men.

Jurgen Klopp is confident Liverpool will receive a boost in the New Year and have Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane available for their blockbuster clash with Chelsea.

Mane will be in action first at the AFCON, when Senegal play Zimbabwe on January 10 with Salah and Egypt campaign starting against Nigeria 24 hours later.

If Klopp’s confidence pays off, Salah, Mane and Keita could potentially miss just two Premier League games against Brentford and Crystal Palace, as well as two FA Cup games and the Carabao Cup semi-final should they make it.

If the tournament does get pushed forward, Arsenal would also lose out and be denied the services of Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny for a meeting with Manchester City on New Year’s Day.

Chelsea could also lose Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech for their game with Liverpool.

Salah and Mane would be big misses for Liverpool, having scored 30 goals between them this season – with the Egyptian arguably the most in-form player in European football with 21 goals and nine assists this season.

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