Pundit: Liverpool won’t win the title without these two players

Ray Wilkins says the absence of Sadio Mane and Joel Matip could derail Liverpool's title bid

Liverpool will struggle to win the Premier League title without Sadio Mane and Joel Matip, according to Ray Wilkins.

The Reds signed Mane in a £34m deal from Premier League rivals Southampton in the summer transfer window before Matip completed a free transfer to Anfield from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.

Mane scored nine goals and made four assists in 18 appearances in the Premier League before the winger headed off on international duty with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Liverpool centre-half Matip is currently unavailable for selection due to confusion over his availability following his AFCON snub.

The 18-time English champions played out a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League last weekend.

Liverpool are in third place in the table and seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ on Monday afternoon, Wilkins poured cold water on talk of Liverpool winning the Premier League title.

“In terms of the Premier League title, not for me. There’s something missing with Liverpool,” Wilkins said.

“Mane has gone away and they miss Mane. He’s not going to come back for six weeks. That loss is going to be massive. Matip can’t play for Liverpool. When I looked at Klavan [on Sunday], he’s alright but that’s all he is – alright.

“Matip has been something special.”

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