Jurgen Klopp on whether Sadio Mane could start for Liverpool at Spartak Moscow

25 September 2017

Jurgen Klopp has been discussing the options with Sadio Mane back available for Tuesday’s Champions League clash away to Spartak Moscow.


Mane has missed the last three domestic games after being sent off in the 5-0 loss away to Man City in the Premier League, with the Reds unsuccessful in their appeal.

The winger did start in the 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League earlier in September, however, but may be lacking rhythm two weeks on.

But having continued to train alongside his team-mates at Melwood, Mane is not short on fitness, and Klopp has claimed he “should be OK” to start in Moscow.

“He’s back and available again—and if he is available it makes sense to bring him [back] from the beginning, but we will see,” he told the official website on the flight to Moscow.

“Sadio is back and it’s really good. He made all the normal training sessions.

“When you are injured or suspended you have to do more than the rest of the squad because you cannot play, so he should be OK.”

Mane was part of the 21-man squad to travel to Russia on Monday afternoon, with Klopp expected to ring the changes following Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Leicester City in the league.

SINSHEIM, GERMANY - Tuesday, August 15, 2017: Liverpool's goal-scorer Trent Alexander-Arnold applauds the travelling supporters after beating TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 1st Leg match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Liverpool at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to be one of those to come in, with the 18-year-old rotating with Joe Gomez at right-back throughout the season so far.

Gomez is suspended for Tuesday night’s clash, and was left on Merseyside along with the injured Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, while Marko Grujic was also not on the plane.

Klopp said “it’s likely [Trent will start] but at the moment nothing is sure,” and with Jon Flanagan his only other specialist right-back, the probability is very high.

Elsewhere, the 50-year-old confirmed that Loris Karius will make his third start of the season between the sticks.

The German goalkeeper will take over from Simon Mignolet, as Klopp continues to rotate his options—Karius in Europe, Mignolet in the league and Danny Ward in domestic cup competitions.

Beyond Clyne and Lallana, the Reds have no other major injury concerns.

It could be that Klopp fields the quartet of Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino together for the first time.

Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Emre Can, who were all doubts before Saturday’s clash at the King Power Stadium, all trained normally on Monday morning.

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