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Norwich City v Liverpool

Mane in line for Liverpool return as Senegalese star shakes off injury

10:25 pm AEDT 14/2/20
Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019-20
Having suffered a hamstring problem during a Premier League meeting with Wolves, a talismanic figure is ready to step back in against Norwich

Sadio Mane is ready to come back into contention at Liverpool after shaking off a hamstring injury, with it possible that the Senegalese forward could figure against Norwich.

The 27-year-old was forced onto the sidelines during a Premier League meeting with Wolves on January 23.

Having been laid low, Mane missed out on meetings with West Ham, Southampton and an FA Cup fourth-round replay with Shrewsbury.

A winter break has, however, come at a good time for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp has been able to nurse a few members of his walking wounded back into contention, with Mane among those to have made a welcome return to training.

James Milner, who has been absent since the FA Cup derby win over Everton on January 5, is also pushing for a place in the Reds’ plans for a trip to Carrow Road on Saturday.

Klopp told reporters when asked for a fitness update on his squad: "Of course they are in contention, that’s clear. When Millie and Sadio are back, you start thinking immediately [about using them]. That’s how it is.

"They trained both from Monday on and they trained both through last week anyway. They are in contention. It looks like, and I hope it stays like this, apart from [Xherdan] Shaqiri, [Nathaniel] Clyne and [Paul] Glatzel, all players are in training.

"We have some good options and we have to hope it stays like this. It will be really great for the very decisive part of the season."

Liverpool have continued to fare admirably without Mane, with a 22-point lead opened up at the top of the Premier League table, but will be delighted to have a 15-goal option back at their disposal.

Andy Robertson is another of those to have worked his way back to full fitness during a break in club commitments, with the Scottish full-back shaking off a niggling foot complaint.

Klopp added: “When I played, 80 per cent of the time I was in pain. Nobody appreciated that, because I played bad anyway.

“For Robbo it was very important because it was his left foot. His only useful foot! It was very important we had this week, he looks different now.”

Liverpool had been among those to push hard for a rest period to be added into the Premier League schedule and Klopp believes his side will benefit from shutting down for a fortnight.

He is, however, raring to go again now and will not be taking a meeting with struggling Norwich lightly.

“I can see a difference in training but it’s not about a difference in the Norwich game. We wanted it [the break] and fought for it. We made some decisions around it and now we train normally. It’s not about Norwich, it’s about the rest of the season.

“People think [Norwich] will be easy because they only see the table and they don’t think about anything else. But we know the problems we can have, and the problems we can cause as well.”