Jurgen Klopp opens up on Sadio Mane's injury....and insists his side can beat Manchester United
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the significance of Sadio Mane's latest injury and insisted his team can cope without their attacking talisman.
Klopp saw Liverpool's season implode when Mane was unavailable for extended periods, but he is confident his team can cope without the Senegal forward in Saturday's eagerly anticipated game against Manchester United at Anfield.
"Thank God we can still play football without Sadio," declared Klopp. "Lots of teams got injuries from this international break.
"Things like this happen. If you look around the world, a lot of players in this international break got injured.
"You always hope that nothing will happen, but as long as they are not around, we don't know exactly what happens. It's quite difficult to get in touch with all the different FAs and all that stuff like this.
"I had a chat immediately after the game with Sadio, how I always do with the boys. It was not clear it would be that serious, but he said 'I feel something in my hamstring', so it was clear it would be at least close for the United game - and now we know it's much longer."
Klopp went on to suggest the game against United was a big test for both sides, as he suggested the timing of the game could have been better coming straight after an intense international break.
"We have two days to prepare. It's a pretty big game so maybe next time bring these teams together when we can work in the direction of this game," he continued. "I'd love to ask the Premier League to give us both more time to prepare for a game like this.
It's a big, big, big, big opportunity. Performances are not as bad as people think. We are not so weak we don't have a chance against Manchester United.
"Jose's team play like they have to play in each moment. They are in a better situation than last year. They have fantastic players.
"Against us they played often pretty long, but they don't always do this. We know they have big quality, but we are still positive. We look forward to it. One of the most special game in world football."
Klopp also confirmed that he expected his Brazilian duo of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho to be ready to play against United despite their long flight back from South America, as he cheekily suggested their first class travel ticket should ensure they are ready to return to Premier League action.
"They had a long flight, but it was pretty comfortable. I saw the price," he added with a smile. "The club did everything to bring the boys back. They should be ok."