Mane in contention for Norwich clash, Klopp confirms

first_imgSadio Mane is in contention to start Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Norwich City, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.Liverpool get the new season under way on Friday when they host the winners of the Championship at Anfield.And Mane’s participation has been in doubt following his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations over the summer. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Mane played in the final for Senegal on July 19 as his side lost out to Algeria in Cairo, and missed Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City as he completed his holidays.The former Southampton forward returned to training on Monday, and Klopp insists that Mane is being considered for a starting berth against the Canaries.”He only had two weeks off, so you don’t lose anything – that is the good news at least!” he told a press conference.”He looks fit. Yesterday was the first session with the team. He looks absolutely OK. Yes, he’s an option.”Mane is not the only Liverpool player to have returned late to training ahead of the new campaign, with fellow forward Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita having also participated at AFCON for the hosts Egypt and Guinea, respectively, while Roberto Firmino and Alisson were both key in Brazil winning Copa America on home soil.As such, Klopp has been forced to hand opportunities to fringe players during pre-season as well as experimenting with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gini Wijnaldum as wide forwards in the absence of his normal front three.Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019And the Champions League-winning coach believes that will allow him some flexibility when it comes to selecting his team to face Daniel Farke’s newly-promoted outfit.”We have a lot of options, a lot of different line-ups. No player gave me a reason to leave him out, so we have hard decisions on a squad.”It is not about playing the best football in history tomorrow. It is about playing the best football in this moment.”We have to stay the team that nobody wants to play against because of that intensity.”Klopp also confirmed that James Milner will be fit for Friday’s match having missed the Community Shield with a minor muscular injury.last_img read more