Liverpool have been rocked by the news that Sadio Mane will miss the next six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury.
The Senegal international made a fantastic start to the new campaign, scoring three goals in his opening five matches, before incurring a three-game suspension for the red card he received for kicking Manchester City’s Ederson during the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium last month.
Mane made his return in the disappointing 1-1 draw against Newcastle before the international break and played 89 minutes of Senegal’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde last weekend.
Liverpool confirmed the 25-year-old picked up the injury during that match and will now miss a testing run of fixtures which begins with Manchester United’s trip to Anfield on Saturday.
The fixtures Mane will miss 14 Oct: Liverpool v Manchester United 17 Oct: Maribor v Liverpool 22 Oct: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool 28 Oct: Liverpool v Huddersfield 1 Nov: Liverpool v NK Maribor 4 Nov: West Ham v Liverpool 18 Nov: Liverpool v Southampton 21 Nov: Sevilla v Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled in Mane’s absence recently, but his injury could hand an opportunity to summer signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has struggled to make an impact since his summer move from Arsenal.
Adam Lallana meanwhile, who is yet to make an appearance this season, is closing in on his return to first team action after he suffered a thigh injury in pre-season.