Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been shortlisted for the African player of the year along with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

CAIRO: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are the three finalists for the African player of the year award in a repeat of last year’s shortlist.
The winner will be announced on Jan. 8 in Dakar, Senegal.
The Confederation of African Football announced the finalists on Tuesday from an original list of 34 players.
Egyptian international Salah is the current holder of the award after his goals played a large part in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final in 2018. Mane of Senegal finished ahead last time of Gabon’s Aubameyang, who was then with Borussia Dortmund.
This is the fifth straight nomination for Aubameyang, who won in 2015.
After a slow start to the season following the World Cup, Salah is hitting top form for Liverpool. He scored the winner against Napoli in December to send Liverpool through to the last 16 of the Champions League at the Italian club’s expense.
Salah has also found his scoring touch again in the Premier League, where he is challenging Aubameyang and Tottenham’s Harry Kane at the top of the scoring charts.
Aubameyang scored his 14th goal of the season Tuesday in Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Fulham, putting him one clear of Salah ahead of Liverpool’s match at Manchester City on Thursday.
Mane, who was third in 2016, is looking to becoming the first Senegalese winner of the trophy since forward El Hadji Diouf took the 2002 award.


Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

Updated 18 February 2019
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Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

  • Reds boss worried about resurgent German giants ahead of second-round first-leg clash.
  • Bayern defender Joshua Kimmich claims Liverpool are the favorites.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool side they will have to be at their very best if they are to beat Bayern Munich.
The Reds head into the Champions League clash as slight favorites after months at the top of the Premier League. But having drawn the German giants in the second round, Klopp has told his players they have to keep their feet on the ground worthy could end up out of the competition before it really gets going.
“It’ll be very tough,” there Liverpool manager said.
“(Bayern are) only two points off Dortmund in the domestic league and have been consistent finalists and semifinalists.
“They’re a world class team but at the same time we’re confident we can cause them problems.
“They’ve got world class players so we know how difficult it will be.
“Everyone has to be at 100 percent otherwise we’ll get nothing from the game.
“Having said that we have confidence we have the ability to hurt them, and it’s up to us to show that.”

After a tough start to the season Bayern are up to second in the Bundesliga. 


Liverpool went al the way to the final last year, before losing to Real Madrid. But the momentum created by that surprise run has been maintained in the Premier League and another trip to the Champions League knockout stages.
Bayern currently lie second in the Bundesliga and are starting to look like their old levels agains after a tough start to the season. For Klopp, who managed Dortmund before arriving at Anfield, that could spell trouble for the Reds.
“After six years of pretty much dominating the league it was clear this year was going to be a tougher situation.
“It’s actually still the same, being at the top of the league and still in the last-16 of the Champions League.
“It’s a normal situation with a high quality team.
“Munich’s situation, from my point of view, makes them even more dangerous and even more of a threat from my point of view.
“This is a competition, in Europe, where they always do well.”
For the Germans the role of underdogs suits them perfectly. At least that is according to Joshua Kimmich.
The defender said: “Liverpool are the favorites.
“They have lost one league game all season and have let in only 15 goals. But when you look at us, we are not as consistent as before.”
Before a ball has been kicked Bayern did receive some good news. Winger Franck Ribery was originally left out of the squad to play at Anfield and did not fly with his teammates. But after becoming a father, the Frenchman has now decided to join up with the squad and will be available for selection. One man who definitely will not make the pitch is Jerome Boateng. The central defender is suffering from a stomach virus.
The Bavarians will also have to wait until Tuesdays to determine whether winger Kingsley Coman will be able to play after picking up an ankle injury on Friday.
The Frenchman scored twice but was injured in the final stages of their 3-2 win at Augsburg.

KEY MAN — ROBERTO FIRMINO 

Of Liverpool’s brilliant attacking trio the Brazilian is perhaps the most underrated and important. When he plays well the Reds usually do likewise. He links up the play well, settling up as many goals as he scores. Liverpool will be hoping he turns up with his A-game tonight, because if he does Bayern Munich could be in for a  long night. 

ARAB NEWS PREDICTS

For once Bayern are not having it all their own way in the Bundesliga. But they are improving and giving Borussia Dortmund something to think about in the race for the title. But home advantage will be key and a resurgent Reds will prove too strong for a Bayern defence that has, on occasions this campaign, looked less than watertight. The only question is can Liverpool get a decisive lead and put the tie to bed before the second leg?