Reds return to training with Klopp’s options ahead of Norwich boosted

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James Milner took part in Liverpool’s training session on Monday as Jurgen Klopp’s side reconvened at Melwood after the winter break.

After a relentless season to date which saw the Reds compete in just under 40 fixtures across five different competitions, Klopp’s senior figures were handed a week’s long break to rest and recover.

Neil Critchley and the club’s record-breaking side with an average age of just over 19 years held down the fort to clinch a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup in their absence.

Normal service was resumed on Monday, however, as the boss and members of the first team linked back up at a blustery Melwood.

Storm Ciara has been wreaking havoc across the UK and Ireland in recent days, ensuring players who sought out the sun in the last week were greeted with a typical English welcome home gift.

While the storm has disrupted travel routes, the Reds safely made their return to kick start their preparations for the trip to Norwich on Saturday – with chairman Tom Werner watching on from the sidelines.

And the boss will have plenty of options at his disposal as Liverpool were bolstered by the return of Milner and Mane who took part in the session alongside a near-full squad.

The former has been on the sidelines since early January after sustaining a hamstring injury in the win over Everton, missing Liverpool’s next eight games, while Mane has been absent since securing victory at Wolves.

The pair are expected to be in contention for a place in the matchday squad on the weekend, which presents Klopp with a welcome selection headache.

Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has notched two goals in as many games, have both rotated through Mane’s position in his absence and have a fight on their hands to retain their place.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitutes Divock Origi (L) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (C) during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Adam Lallana successfully recovering from a virus to feature late in the piece against Southampton in the first team’s last fixture, Xherdan Shaqiri was not pictured at Melwood and remains as the sole absentee with a calf injury keeping him in the treatment room.

With six games in 21 days, starting from the trip to Norfolk, Klopp will be afforded the luxury of calling upon various members of his squad throughout should he need to.

With Joe Gomez holding firm to his place alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren remain in the waiting bay for such chance.

The Reds will head to Norwich with a 55 point advantage over their counterparts and have an opportunity to extend their lead at the top to 25 points following Man City’s game being postponed over the weekend.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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