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Sadio Mane

International breaks have always been a nightmare for Premier League managers. And, the latest break has proved it once again, as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is made to anxiously wait over the availability of his star forward Sadio Mane.

The German manager has admitted his concerns about the fitness of the Senegalese star, indicating that the next few days are “critical” in his recovery before Premier League gets back into action.

Mane has returned to the Merseyside after being released by his national side following a recurrence of his “old injury” during the World Cup qualifier with South Africa.

This is a major blow for the Reds because the 25-year-old returned to full fitness for the club only last week. The player was out of action for almost a month with a hamstring injury – incidentally, picked up during the last international break.

Mane completed 90 minutes for Senegal and helped his side seal their place in Russia next summer. However, his injury has now left him in major doubt for next weekend’s game at Southampton, his old stomping ground.

Liverpool are expecting the star at their Melwood base for assessment of his injury and Klopp is worried that any potential injury setback could derail his side’s hopes.

When asked about Mane’s fitness, Klopp was unwilling to commit to any prognosis and has expressed his worry following Mane’s international exploits with Senegal.

The Reds boss was quoted by Liverpool Echo:

“Specifically, on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days.

“At this stage we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him.”

The Reds did everything they could to make sure that the player’s fitness was taken care of. It was reported earlier that the Reds sent their own set of doctors to work with the Senegal team to ensure that Mane’s fitness was at optimum levels.

Mane is hugely popular within the squad and among the Kop faithful for his exploits on the field. Klopp knows and understands the importance of Mane. He also acknowledges that representing Senegal is important for the forward.

“It should not be forgotten in Liverpool, either, how important it is to Sadio that he represents his country whenever he is fit enough to do so. He is so proud of his country and recognises what a role model he is for them.

It is really an anxious wait for Klopp and the fans, as Mane’s fitness is assessed before the weekend action. Let’s hope there is no long-term worry!

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Jurgen Klopp dispels injury concern after surprise substitution against Southampton

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Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri started for Liverpool in the clash against Southampton and was instrumental in our a 3-0 lead at half-time.

His shot was turned into the net by Wesley Hoedt for our first goal and his free-kick was slotted into an open net by Mohamed Salah for our third.

It was a little surprising that Jurgen Klopp decided to take the Swiss star off at half-time and replace him with James Milner.

Shaqiri was our most impressive attacker on Saturday as he played an advanced role behind our front three.

However, Milner came onto the pitch and we played with three central midfielders, something Klopp has used to great effect throughout his time at Liverpool.

The German spoke to the club’s official website as he explained he wanted more control in the game and that’s why he took Shaqiri off.

“I said to Shaq at half-time that I had never brought a player off after such an influential time without an injury. He is not injured. But I wanted to control the game and go back to our normal formation. And that helped, we really controlled it.”

The manager further added that it was not easy to make the change, given how influential Shaqiri was in the first half.

Klopp did explain the change to Shaq but playing the Swiss star had an impact on our defence and that was a problem for the manager.

“The only problem was defensively. Offensively, it was a good idea but, how I said, we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it.”

Read more: Shaqiri shines: Player ratings as Liverpool defeat Southampton 3-0

The 26-year-old had a fantastic game and it will be great to see him play more games if he can have the same sort of impact in the coming months.

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Stats prove this Liverpool star is back to his best after win against Southampton

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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah scored in the 3-0 win over Southampton but he could have gotten a few more too. The Egyptian was unlucky that a goal was called offside and also had a brilliant backheel just going wide of the post.

The former AS Roma forward hasn’t looked as sharp as he did last season but Sky Sports shared some stats that prove otherwise.

The forward is still some way off matching his 32 goals from last season in the Premier League but now, he has three to his name.

What will come as a major relief, however, is that the 25-year-old is getting into the right places to score. The forward was brilliant but that little bit of luck was missing when it came to his finishing.

He did score our third goal against the Saints as he reacted to Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick and that just proves he is hungry as ever to get on the scoresheet.

Fortunately for Liverpool, we have goals coming in from other positions too. Joel Matip got one yesterday, while we have also seen James Milner, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum score multiple times this season.

Liverpool and the Egyptian haven’t looked as sharp as they did last season but that is a good sign for the coming months.

Read more: “I’ll donate my ribs”, “He has 18 ribs” – Some Liverpool fans relieved star player doesn’t have major injury

The Reds are on top of the Premier League and once Salah starts banging the goals in, we should win games more comfortably.

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Stat proves Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress as Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0

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Liverpool made it seven wins a row in all competitions on Saturday after beating Southampton 3-0. The Reds were barely troubled by the Saints as an own goal from Wesley Hoedt opened the scoring for us.

Joel Matip got the second before Mohamed Salah finished the scoring in the first half to keep us at the top of the Premier League.

The win saw us register our fourth clean sheet of the season but also brought up another stat regarding our domination of teams at Anfield.

Liverpool didn’t lose a single Premier League game at home last season and have continued that form in this campaign too.

The only concern for us has to be the draws at Anfield. Last season, we dropped a number of points despite taking the lead in games.

Everton and Tottenham were a couple of teams that pulled off draws at our home but this season has a different feel for the Reds.

This is the first time we have won our opening seven games in the history of the club. And we should break a few more records along the way.

Our next clash is in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Anfield and it will be interesting to see how it goes against our title rivals.

Read more: “Imperious performance”, “Already a better career than Charlie Adam” – Some Liverpool fans go crazy after brilliant first-half by summer signing

We face the Blues next weekend in a huge Premier League clash as well and hopefully, the Reds will come up with all three points at Stamford Bridge and continue our march.

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