The encounter between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday is without a doubt the most important match of the season.
The top-of-the-table Premier League showdown will almost certainly decide the destiny of the championship battle. A victory for Pep Guardiola’s City would give them a four-point lead with seven games remaining, while a win for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool would put them ahead.
It’s been a remarkable change of events after City’s 14-point advantage over Liverpool was trimmed to one in January when Klopp’s squad won 10 consecutive league games.
While everyone’s attention is on the big game, another drama is emerging on the sidelines.
The contract status of Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah continues to pique intrigue, but the Egyptian star insists he cannot be “selfish” and discuss it now as the team concentrates on a historic quadruple.
The Merseyside club won the League Cup in February and is now in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, having previously reached the FA Cup semi-finals.
Salah’s contract ends in June of next year, and talks on a new agreement have been ongoing for some time. According to British media, the Egypt international is close to reaching an agreement with the club to retain him till the end of his career.
Salah told Sky Sports, “I can’t be selfish and speak about my circumstances.” “We are in the most vital phase for the team, so all I have to do is speak about the team, concentrate on what is going on with the squad, and that is the most important thing.”
When asked whether he was sure that a new deal will be finalized, Salah replied: “I can’t say yes or no, but I’ve expressed it many times before about what I want.
“But, once again, I can’t go into detail about my contract right now because it’s a very delicate subject.
“The team has to win, and I can’t go into the headlines and just speak about my contract. I simply concentrate on the team, and that’s all.”
On Sunday, Klopp will depend on Salah’s big-game expertise.
Salah has not scored from open play since February 19, and his recent performances, at home against Watford and away at Benfica on Tuesday, have fallen well short of the 28-goal forward’s expectations.
He also suffered heartache on the international stage, losing both the Africa Cup of Nations final and a World Cup play-off against Senegal in the previous two months.
Dropping him versus City, on the other hand, is nearly unfathomable because to the message it would send out before kickoff.
“Yes, big-game experience is beneficial. It is not the only factor to consider when putting up a lineup, but it is one of them “Klopp said.