Is Sadio Mane injured? Why Senegal star and former Liverpool favourite will miss England World Cup fixture

Gareth Southgate’s side are through to the knockout stages and will face off against the Africa Cup of Nations winners but won’t have to worry about a former Anfield attacker causing them problems.

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With the Premier League still on hiatus and the FIFA World Cup finals fast approaching the knockout stages, several Liverpool players have already booked their place in the next round of the tournament.

Virgil van Dijk and The Netherlands have made it through to the Last 16, where they will face the USA, as have reigning champions France and Ibrahima Konate who will take on Poland. Elsewhere, Alisson and Fabinho have secured their place in the next round with Brazil while Darwin Nunez’s Uruguay are facing elimination if they lose to Ghana.

As for England, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be part of the squad that takes on Senegal in the first knockout round on Sunday with the African champions likely to pose a serious threat to Gareth Southgate’s side. However, they will be without one of the Liverpool duo’s former Anfield teammates and that will come as a major boost for the Three Lions:

Is Sadio Mane injured? Why former Liverpool star is not at World Cup

Former Liverpool favourite Sadio Mane, who left Anfield to join Bayern Munich in the summer, was initially included in Senegal’s 26-man squad to take part at the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar despite having picked up an injury in a Bundesliga match with Werder Bremen just a few days before the announcement. It was hoped that the 30-year old attacker would recover in time to play some part in his nation’s campaign at the showpiece event but a scan later confirmed he would be ruled out for the whole tournament and he dropped out of the squad.

Mane has won 93 caps for Senegal in his career and helped guide them to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the first ever time they had lifted that trophy having twice been runners-up. The attacker had six successful seasons with Liverpool, having joined from Premier League rivals Southampton in 2016 for a fee of £34 million, and won every trophy on offer during that time including the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. He was named in hat PAF Premier League Team of the Year four out of his six seasons and won the Premier League Golden Boot for the 2018/19 season.