Premier League • England

Carvajal warns Salah of ‘burden’ of Champions League failure, but Liverpool star told he’d be lucky to start

Liverpool star Mo Salah

Dani Carvajal has warned Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah of the “burden” of trying to right his wrongs of the 2018 Champions League final.

Salah has firmly insisted that he is out for “revenge” on Los Blancos in Saturday’s Paris showpiece following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat in Kyiv.

Not only was it difficult for the Reds to endure a third defeat in a final under Jurgen Klopp, it was a personal blow for Salah.

Having scored 44 Liverpool goals in the lead-up to the clash with Madrid, he lasted only 30 minutes before he suffered a shoulder injury in a tackle with Sergio Ramos.

It was Madrid who subsequently celebrated a 13th European Cup triumph in Ukraine that night. Spanish full-back Carvajal was part of the team that started in Kyiv and he is still in the squad ahead of Saturday’s reunion with Liverpool in Paris.

However, he has warned Salah that looking to settle scores may not be the best pre-match mindset.

Carvajal told ABC: “I don’t know if Salah or Liverpool are in the mood for revenge.

“It is true that when you lose a Champions League final you always want to have a second chance against that same team in order to beat them.

“Let’s hope it’s not an important burden for Salah to lose a second Champions League final against Real Madrid.”

However, Salah has been told by former Chelsea full-back Scott Minto that he doesn’t even start on Saturday on current form.

Salah warned Liverpool spot not secure

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool forward, before the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley

Amid doubt over the 29-year-old’s future, Minto told talkSPORT: “Let’s just say he were to leave, that would be a massive blow. But actually in the second half of this season, he hasn’t contributed like he did in the first half.

“I would put Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane ahead of him right now. One-off game against Real Madrid, if I could only play two of those three, I would play Luis Diaz and Mane.

“I don’t think Salah has been anywhere near the level he was first [half of the season]. First half of the season he was the best player on the planet.

“Second half of the season, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane for me, better.”

Salah scooped a share of the Premier League Golden Boot with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min this season.

However, his 23rd league goal of the season was only his third in all competitions since mid-March. In the same time frame, Senegal star Mane has struck eight times and Diaz five.

Liverpool must start star man

Despite Salah’s poor form in front of goal of late, he stands tall as Liverpool’s top scorer in the Champions League this season.

His eight goals are three more than the tallies posted by Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

What’s more, Salah has more assists than Diaz and Mane in the competition.

Liverpool must remember Salah truth as contract saga rumbles on

Liverpool must remember that no player is bigger than the club, even amid the clamour for Mohamed Salah to sign a new contract.

As such, manager Jurgen Klopp has to start Salah for his potential impact.

Diaz, Mane and Salah has proven the manager’s preferred front three. And while Mane and Diaz have been streets ahead of Salah as far as big goals in big games go, the Egyptian will be pumped to stamp his mark in Paris.