'Vardy always scores!' - Mane knows Liverpool must improve for Leicester visit
Sadio Mane admits Liverpool will need to improve if they are to keep Leicester City and Jamie Vardy quiet this weekend.
The Reds got their first Champions League win of the campaign with victory over Austrian champions Salzburg on Wednesday night, but only after a significant scare.
Jurgen Klopp’s side led 3-0 at Anfield but were pegged back to 3-3 before Mohamed Salah’s goal secured a tense win.
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Next up for the Premier League leaders are Leicester, third in the table and earning plaudits for their form under former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
And in Vardy, Liverpool will run into a player who seems to enjoy playing against them. The 32-year-old has scored seven times in nine appearances against the Reds and has netted five goals already this season.
Klopp warned in the wake of the Salzburg game that his team will need to be better defensively on Saturday, and Mane is in agreement.
“I think if we want to win we have to play better than [against Salzburg] because we know Leicester,” said the Senegal star. “Especially this season they are very strong and a very good team.
“For sure we are going to learn from it and be ready for Saturday, which will be a massive game for us.
“I think they started the season very well and are a very good team and if we want to beat them we have to be 100 per cent ready.
“Vardy always scores so we have to make sure this game he will not score and we try to take all our chances – that will be the key.”
Mane was himself on target against Salzburg, taking his tally to seven goals for the season. Joint-winner of the Premier League Golden Boot last season, the 27-year-old looks ready for another impressive campaign.
His form is all the more impressive given his workload over the last 12 months. Mane only returned for pre-season training on the eve of Liverpool’s opening Premier League game, having helped Senegal to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations over the summer.
“I try to rest as much as I can because I know it was a really busy summer for me and many games are coming,” he said with a smile. “Especially when you are always playing.
“You have to eat well and sleep as much as you can and that is what I try to do – and [I have] a lot of treatment as well!”
Liverpool welcomed goalkeeper Alisson Becker into full first-team training this week, for the first time since the Brazilian tore a calf muscle against Norwich City in August.
Alisson will not feature in the Reds squad for the game against Leicester but could make his return when the Merseysiders travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford after the international break.