Liverpool’s chances will be boosted further by the return of Sadio Mane, as the Reds travel to Russia to face Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.
Sadio Mane is set for a return to the starting lineup against Spartak Moscow tonight. Liverpool have certainly struggled a bit without the Senegalese attacker while he was serving a domestic ban, and Jurgen Klopp will happy to have him play in their Champions League encounter.
Klopp is expected to rest Simon Mignolet and provide Loris Karius a chance to start in goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inclusion in the squad remains uncertain as of now while Joe Gomez is suspended after picking up a red card in their previous Champions League game against Sevilla.
That could leave Klopp with a significant lack of options in defence, considering things have not exactly worked out with the likes of Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren. The solidity in the back line will prove to be vital against an attacking side like Spartak Moscow.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Klopp acknowledged that the side still has work to do, but that the team was gradually improving. “We have a lot of things to do, 100 per cent, but we all know we are on a good way. Yes, a few things are not fixed, which happens when you are not flying.”
Klopp also spoke elaborately about Mane, who is available to feature for the first time since the Sevilla game. “He’s back and available again – and if he is available it makes sense to bring him from the beginning, but we will see,” Klopp said.
He further added, “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.”
Klopp also spoke about Alexander-Arnold, who could be restored back into the starting lineup due to Gomez’s suspension. “It’s likely [Trent will start] but at the moment nothing is sure. But probably.”
Due to the lack of depth in defence, Klopp will focus on strengthening the midfield area. Philippe Coutinho will be crucial in this match. After three consecutive starts and a convincing display against Leicester City, the manager will be counting on the playmaker.
Emre Can and Jordan Henderson are likely to join him in the middle of the park. Moreover, the pair can also focus their energy on restricting the opposition midfielders, while also providing cover for Liverpool’s defence. Up front, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will bring the firepower.