International breaks are the worst. They are soporific wastelands devoid of entertaining football. These breaks are periods of inaction designed to injure your top players and cripple your season. However, for once in a blue moon, the international break has come at the perfect time for Liverpool.
The Africa Cup of Nations has long been a thorn in the side of Premier League teams. In previous years the tournament was played mid-season and key players would go missing.
The continental cup was played over the summer this year. With Liverpool’s season finishing in June due to european success, the Reds were pressed for time as it was. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane both competed for their country at the AfCoN. Mane reached the final with Senegal whilst Salah was dumped out in the round of 16 with Egypt.
Short term heartbreak had a long term benefit as it gave Salah nearly an extra two weeks rest in comparison to Mane. The Egyptian’s competition was over on the 6th of July, with Mane losing out on the 19th.
The two frontmen weren’t able to get a proper preseason break to recuperate ahead of what promises to be an intense campaign with Liverpool gunning for the Premier League. The two showed no signs of fatigue – Salah has 3 goals in 4 games, Mane has 2 in 3.
With the pair free from international duty during this break, they finally have time to kick back and recover. When the Premier League resumes, the deadly wingers will be fully rejuvenated and ready to attack.