Phil Neville says Mohamed Salah becoming a marked man could be why Sadio Mane is scoring lots of goals

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is in the form of his life at the moment, netting 17 Premier League goals and three others in the Champions League, and he is on course to surpass his best ever return of 23 goals in a season.

The Senegalese scored 13 goals in 29 games in his first season at Anfield, while he registered 20 in 44 appearances last term.

His best ever return came in 2013-14 during his time with Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg.

With seven league games and a Champions League quarterfinals double-header against Porto still left in 2018-19, Mane could end the season with as many as 30 goals.

Former Everton star Phil Neville believes the Senegalese’ attacking partner Mohamed Salah might have inadvertently played a role in his impressive form in front of goal thus far.

“He’s (Salah) been doubled up on,” Neville said.

“There have been times when there are three defenders around him.

“This is probably the reason why [Sadio] Mane has scored more goals this year, because it’s freed up other players in the team.”

Salah has also scored 17 league goals and thrice in the Champions League, and both Liverpool forwards are firmly in the stiff race for the Premier League Golden Boot.

Only Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has more goals (18) than the duo, while they are level with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.

It will be interesting to see if Mane pips them to the prize and how many goals he ends up scoring this term, but he is surely benefitting from the attention defenders are giving Salah, and that could also help him prove crucial as the Reds look to win their first-ever English Premier League title and a first Champions League since 2005.

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