Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that Sadio Mane’s only focus should be on getting and taking goalscoring chances, not records.
The Senegal international has scored 99 goals for the Reds following his 2016 move from Southampton. As such, he could reach his century against Crystal Palace on Saturday. However, he could yet reach three milestones in one afternoon.
Mane is on 97 Premier League goals, so could also reach triple figures in the top flight with a hat-trick.
Either way, if he only scores one, he will be setting a new Premier League record. Mane has netted in each of his last eight outings against Palace and no player has scored in nine successive matches against the same team.
The 29-year-old has netted two goals in four games this term. However, he could – and perhaps should – have had more following a host of chances against Leeds last Sunday.
Aske about the 29-year-old in his pre-match press conference, Klopp told reporters (via Twitter): “Sadio looks really good, really sharp.
“I know we talk about these kind of things when a striker missed some chances, but that he has the amount of chances he had, the amount of finishes, that’s actually the important stuff.
“Sadio is in a good moment, physically and mentally really confident. You can see that, when he misses a chance he knows, ‘I have to do this better, that better’, so all good.
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“Of course, Sadio is an exceptional player so he has to perform exceptional because that’s the standard we expect from him. Usually he delivers.”
Mohamed Salah will also be looking to continue his impressive start to the season. The Egyptian has scored four goals in five games.
However, Saturday’s opponents Palace have threats of their own up front – and throughout the team.
What’s more, they have new manager Patrick Vieira running the show in the dugout. Last weekend, new striker signing Odsonne Edouard capped his debut with a brace against Tottenham.
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Asked about the differences since Vieira took charge, Klopp said: “Massive, they’re a proper football-playing side. He obviously has a clear idea of how he wants to set up. You can see he’s brought in new players.
“It’s incredible how strong they are up front with all the players they have. Edouard came in, scored twice, quite a decent goalscoring record. [Jordan] Ayew, [Christian] Benteke.
“They have quality in midfield, [Cheikhou] Kouyate back in his position. [Conor] Gallagher, I’m not sure you can still say he’s a talent. He plays for [England] Under-21s but he’s a really good player.
“It’s a decent team, a football-playing idea meanwhile. It’s a change and they will do well, but we have to well as well on Saturday.”
Liverpool beat Palace on both occasions last season. At Selhurst Park, they won 7-0 before clinching a top-four finish with a 2-0 win in May.