Generally speaking, for fans of club football, any international break is cause for consternation. Travels, training and game time — for matches that typically matter little to the supporters in question — often culminates in players returning to their clubs in worse condition than when they left. Nails are bitten and teeth are gnashed.
Sometimes, however, the two weeks between club games creates an opportunity for players not traveling with their international sides to recover. This particular break has seen Liverpool in both situations, first receiving the upsetting but unsurprising news that recently-injured Sadio Mané would return early from securing Senegal’s World Cup participation due to a hamstring injury, then learning — altogether more encouragingly — that captain Jordan Henderson is back in full training.
The former Sunderland man had missed the Reds’ 4-1 win over West Ham at the start of the month with a thigh injury, but having spent the intervening time recovering, returned to regular training on Wednesday. In other words, the captain is likely to feature against Southampton on Saturday, alongside fellow England international Adam Lallana, who looks to make his first appearance of the campaign.
Whether the return of the England duo is enough to ensure the Reds overcome a side they were unable to defeat in four attempts last season remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly offer them a better chance at success.