Injuries have kept both James Milner and Sadio Mané out of Liverpool’s last few matches but the winter break was supposed to be a door for each of them between recovery and match fitness. On Friday, Jürgen Klopp confirmed Milner and Mané were right on schedule through the passage.
Apart from Xherdan Shaqiri, the manager now has a full strength squad to pull from when making his team to face Norwich City on Saturday.
“Of course they are in contention, it’s clear,” said Klopp.
“When Millie and Sadio are back, you start thinking immediately. That’s how it is.
“It looks like – and I hope it stays like this – apart from Shaqiri, Clyne and Glatzel, all players are in training.
“We have some good options and hopefully it stays like this, that would be really great for the decisive part of the season now.
“It’s good news. They both trained from Monday – and they both trained through the last week anyway – so they are in contention.”
Liverpool performed well without Milner and Mané in the team, winning all their matches. Milner rotates in and out regularly. His absence wasn’t going to be felt much. It was also timed well with Fabinho’s return to the team. But even the thought of losing one of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Mané to injury was once nightmare fuel. It’s a testament to the caliber of Klopp’s squad that the team kept rolling to victory without Sadio on the pitch and nary a foot off-course.
As Klopp said, having a full squad available will a be a lift to the team as they head back into Champions League competition while also staying on track to win the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, with the highest points total ever.