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Salah, Firmino & Mane firing blanks! Everything going wrong for Liverpool’s front three, says Nicol

14:22 GMT 25/02/2019
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19
The former Reds star feels a once potent attacking unit is offering little to the collective cause at present as form dips during a title challenge

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are “firing blanks” for Liverpool, says Steve Nicol, with “every single thing going wrong” for a once potent attacking unit.

The Reds have failed to find the target in their last two outings, with a goalless Champions League draw with Bayern Munich followed by another in the Premier League against Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to offer much of a threat during a crunch clash at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Firmino hobbling off, Salah replaced before the end and Mane looking out of sorts.

The latter has netted in three of his last five outings, but Liverpool’s fearsome frontline last hit the net in the same game back on January 19 against Crystal Palace.

Former Reds defender Nicol believes an untimely dip in form is impacting a title bid, telling ESPN FC: “Unfortunately going forward the front three are firing blanks.

“I can’t remember them ever being, the three of them, so poor at the same time. 

“Salah’s had spells when he didn’t score at the start of the year and Firmino sometimes hasn’t knitted it together as well. 

“But every single thing is going wrong for the three of them now, including Mane.

“The front three have got to find form. If you’re not scoring goals, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against.

“There’s no goals coming from the middle of the park. Fabinho, as great a job as he does, is not going to score you goals, [Jordan] Henderson’s not going to score you goals, [Gini] Wijnaldum may get you the odd goal. It’s basically the front three.

“If they’re not scoring, which right now the three of them are out of form, it’s going to be a little worrying.

“It’s so hit and miss [with Salah] right now. Unfortunately the guy on the other side, Mane, is a little bit the same as well.

“Right now you see [Manchester] City winning more games than Liverpool.”

Liverpool have seen the contribution from their front three after 34 games dip from 61 goals and 25 assists in 2017-18 to 56 and 12 in the current campaign.

Nicol believes that is because opponents are now better prepared to counter the threat they pose, adding: “What you need to add to that, teams were defending a bit higher, giving a little bit more space in behind to the three of them so they had more time, more space. 

“They don’t have that.

“You ally that to the fact that the three of them are out of form, then you end up with the draws that Liverpool are beginning to pile up.”

The Reds have been held in four of their last five games across all competitions, but will have the chance to get back to winning ways on Wednesday when they play host to Watford.