Liverpool will have begun preparations for their trip to the London Stadium on Wednesday evening with the Premier League leaders looking to extend their 16-point lead at the top of the table – they will be without talisman Sadio Mane, however.
The 27-year-old forward has been confirmed an absentee for the midweek game in the capital after he sustained muscle damage during the 2-1 victory against Wolves last Thursday night.
Mane is likely to also miss the weekend’s clash against his former side Southampton at Anfield on Saturday. He is expected to next be in contention after the Premier League’s inaugural winter break when the Reds will travel to face Norwich City on February 15.
The 2019 African Player of the Year has been tipped as one of the favourites to win the PFA Player of the Year following another scintillating campaign under manager Jurgen Klopp. Mane is currently embarking on his fourth season with the European champions – he has 15 goals and 11 assists in 31 appearances this campaign.
“Sadio will not be involved for West Ham and probably not for Southampton,” said the manager. “After that, he should be then fine.
“The week we have then after that is for him perfect to get back on track.
“He has a small muscle tear, which is serious enough to keep him out. We were lucky with the injury as well, so it was not that serious.
“But of course, when you have three games in a week then that means he is out for these three games.”
Following the injury update, many Liverpool supporters took to Twitter to showcase their relief that the Senegalese ace will be back in action sooner than expected.
Can’t lie I expected worse
— Jake (@JM99__) January 28, 2020
Good news I guess, at least its not 6 to 8 weeks. He'll be back stronger than ever!
— Matt (@LFC_Matt88) January 28, 2020
He said it was a minor injury and will be back after them games that tweet makes it sound worse
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) January 28, 2020
I think the team could put up with those games but we need him badly with Atletico Madrid
— 3ż (@33333zzzzzz) January 28, 2020
🤞He's back for the 15th against Norwich
— RossAC1984 (@Ac1984Ross) January 28, 2020
Thats not ideal but could've been a hell of a lot worse…
— Ali Osman (@aliosman293) January 28, 2020