Sadio Mane set for Liverpool start in Moscow, says Jurgen Klopp
By James Dale
Last Updated: 25/09/17 8:41pm
Sadio Mane is set to start Liverpool's Champions League tie against Spartak Moscow after Jurgen Klopp confirmed the forward's availability.
Liverpool have been without Mane for their last three games following his suspension for a red card in the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month.
But Klopp has indicated the 25-year-old forward will be brought straight back into the starting line-up following his absence.
"He's back and available again - and if he is available it makes sense to bring him from the beginning, but we will see," Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com during the team's flight to Moscow.
Klopp added: "Sadio is back and it's really good. He made all the normal training sessions. When you are injured or suspended you have to do more than the rest of the squad because you cannot play, so he should be OK."
Philippe Coutinho made his first appearance for Liverpool this season in their opening Champions League group match against Sevilla this month, having been the subject of three bids from Barcelona in the summer and suffering a back injury.
The midfielder, who submitted a transfer request as he looked to secure a move to the Nou Camp, has started Liverpool's last two games - scoring in an impressive performance in the 3-2 win over Leicester on Saturday - and Klopp believes Coutinho can get even better in the future.
"He's still a young player so I hope he can still be better in the future," Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.
"He was in good shape before back problems and is now in good shape, that's really important for us. He has a fantastic game for us last weekend, so very important."
Klopp also confirmed Loris Karius will start ahead of Simon Mignolet against Spartak Moscow, despite hailing Simon Mignolet's performance against Leicester last weekend.
The Liverpool boss reiterated "Simon is the No.1", but Karius outlined his intention to prove to Klopp he can be first-choice goalkeeper.
"It's a good healthy competition," Karius said in the pre-match press conference, when asked about his battle with Mignolet.
"I want to use the Champions League to show manager I'm ready for whatever competition."