(Reuters) – Sadio Mane will be ready to start in Tuesday’s must-win Champions League group stage clash with Napoli, according to manager Juergen Klopp who has called on the home supporters to deliver an electric atmosphere.
Senegalese forward Mane, having recovered from a foot injury sustained against Everton, returned as a second-half substitute in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth which took them to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.
“Sadio can deal with the pain obviously — it looked like that in Bournemouth, so that’s cool,” Klopp told a news conference on Monday.
“It’s good enough that we can consider him at least.
“We have two sessions still to come — we’ll train tomorrow morning as well. We have the meeting to do. In the squad there is nothing really serious after the (Bournemouth) game, that’s good.”
Liverpool are third in Group C with six points, three behind Napoli and two behind Paris St Germain who they lost to a fortnight ago. They need to either win 1-0 or by two goals or more to pip Napoli on head-to-head.
The stage is set for a tense night under the Anfield lights where Liverpool will require the kind of grandstand finish they enjoyed in 2004 when they needed to beat Greek side Olympiakios by two clear goals in their last group game to progress and did so thanks to Steven Gerrard’s last-gasp screamer.
“Now we have the chance to go through and that is pretty special after the campaign we played so far,” Klopp, whose side lost all three away games, told reporters.
“Now we have to create a special atmosphere with the way we play and we have to use it as well.
“I am really looking forward to it. It is a big opportunity for us and we will try everything to put it right.”
Klopp confirmed defender Dejan Lovren, who has missed Liverpool’s last three matches, will need a late fitness test before a decision is taken on his involvement.
“Yesterday he was out on the pitch and looked quite well,” Klopp added. “Can he be part of training today or not? We will see that.”
The manager also expects midfielder Adam Lallana to feature after the player felt no ill-effects from a head injury he sustained against Bournemouth.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman)