Sadio Mane is in contention to make the starting lineup when Liverpool welcome Norwich City to Anfield in the Premier League season opener.
Liverpool will be looking to lay down the marker for the title race in the 2019-20 Premier League curtain raiser, when they take on newly promoted club Norwich City at Anfield on Friday night. As the Reds look to go one better than last season, Jurgen Klopp can boast of a fully fit squad.
There have been no concerns at the back whatsoever all through the pre-season. And, Alisson Becker will resume his duties between the sticks, as he looks to win the Golden Glove yet again this season. However, a new face will be seen as being his backup, with summer acquisition Adrian taking the place of the now departed Simon Mignolet.
The defensive line should bear a familiar look as well, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson continuing their splendid full-back partnership. Joe Gomez though, should replace Joel Matip, who ended the season as one of the first-choice centre-backs, as Virgil van Dijk’s partner at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
In midfield, James Milner had been an absentee for the Reds in their Community Shield contest against Manchester City last weekend. But, Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the veteran English midfielder has fully recovered from a muscle strain and is available to face Norwich.
“[He is] good. Millie trained yesterday with the team 100 per cent. He would have probably trained on Tuesday with the team, but we were not in. He will be fine.”
Milner though, is unlikely to make the starting lineup, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum being nailed on as the two men to reprise the no. 8 roles. Accompanying Henderson and Wijnaldum in the middle of the park, will be Fabinho, who takes his place as the holding midfielder.
Up ahead in attack, all the talk has surrounded whether Sadio Mane will be available to take on Norwich in the Premier League season opener. The 27-year-old joined the squad late after going all the way to the Africa Cup of Nations final with Senegal. But, Klopp confirmed that Mane is in contention to start against Norwich on Friday.
“Yes. He had only two weeks off, so he didn’t lose a lot and that’s the good news. He looks fit. Yes, he is an option. Yes, he [was] now with the team for the first time and looks absolutely OK, in good spirits and looking forward to it. So, yes, he’s an option but we will see.”
However, it is highly unlikely that Mane will be thrust into the starting lineup straightaway, although one can expect him to come on early in the second half. In his stead, Divock Origi should start on the left side of the Liverpool attack, as he had against Manchester City, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino completing the lineup.