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Dean Saunders: 'I would pick Sadio Mane over Philippe Coutinho'

Saunders: 'I would pick Mane over Coutinho'
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Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders says that he would pick Sadio Mane over Philippe Coutinho if he could only have one in his team.

Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has claimed that he would pick Sadio Mane over Philippe Coutinho if he had the choice to buy one of the two.

Coutinho was heavily linked with a big-money move to Barcelona in the summer, but the Reds reportedly turned down three bids, despite the player submitting a transfer request.

Barca chief executive Oscar Grau has claimed that the club are "ready" to move again for the Brazilian in the January transfer window, but Saunders has suggested that Mane is more valuable to Liverpool.

The Senegal international has become a key player in Jurgen Klopp's team since moving to Anfield from Southampton in 2016.

"If you ask me who I want, Coutinho or Mane, I'd pick Mane, for whatever team," Saunders told talkSPORT. "If you could only have one or the other [I'd take Mane].

"He's that good and [his injury is] a massive blow for Liverpool because he's the pace across the top of the pitch. He's the man who runs in behind defences and he makes Liverpool a different proposition."

Mane, who has scored 16 goals and created eight assists in the Premier League since his switch to Anfield, will be on the sidelines for six weeks due to a hamstring injury that he suffered on international duty at the weekend.

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Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho reacts after scoring during his side's Premier League clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on October 1, 2017
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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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