Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah compared ahead of Africa Cup of Nations final

Manchester City v Liverpool – UEFA Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will go head-to-head in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final.

They have an incredible record playing together for the Reds but will be on opposite sides as Senegal take on Egypt in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the two strikers compare.

Form at the African Cup of Nations

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Given their status as two of the Premier League’s most feared forwards, it is little surprise that Mane and Salah are the headline acts in their national teams. Mane has had the most impressive tournament of the two, bagging three goals and an assist in his six games so far. He even climbed off his hospital bed after a head injury to lead Senegal to a second successive AFCON final. Salah, who has been touted as the best player in the world this season, has been a little more muted, but has still bagged two goals and claimed an assist. The Egyptian has looked leggy as all three of his country’s knockout games went to extra-time. But the 29-year-old has a better international pedigree than his Liverpool team-mate, scoring 45 goals in 78 games, while Mane has bagged 26 in 80 caps.

Form in 2021/22

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Both men have enjoyed fruitful seasons for Liverpool as they challenge on four fronts this season, but Salah is having a standout year. He equalled Jamie Vardy’s record of scoring or creating a goal in 15 successive Premier League games amid a run of scoring in 10 consecutive games. He is the Premier League top scorer with 16 in 20 games, with nine assists, and bagged another seven in the Champions League group stage. Unsurprisingly, it has been difficult for Mane to compete with that, but the Senegalese has had a solid campaign in his own right. He has scored 10 goals in all competitions, nine of them coming in the Premier League, and is still very much a key part of one of the most exciting front lines in Europe.

Record for Liverpool

When the dust settles on their time at Anfield in years to come, both men will be remembered among the greats of the club, having already joined the century club. Salah is the most prolific of the two, scoring 148 goals in 229 games, with 56 assists. That sees him sitting 10th in the all-time list of Liverpool scorers and his form suggests he will overtake Harry Chambers (151) and Michael Owen (158) before the season is out. Mane has scored 107 goals in 244 games, while also making 44.

Differences in style

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Playing in a front three, primarily with Roberto Firmino or Diogo Jota in recent years, the pair have contrasting styles that give defenders different kinds of nightmares. Mane has power and physicality and his combination with Andrew Robertson on the left is a formidable pairing. He is strong in the air and has the knack of being in the right place at the right time. Salah is a more skilful player, capable of weaving his way through the tightest spots. He also has the pace to live on the shoulder of the last man and makes a living out of cutting inside and letting his left foot do the damage. He is also highly efficient from the penalty spot.

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