Jurgen Klopp: 'Stoke City always a hard side to play'

Despite Sadio Mane's absence with a knee injury that could keep the Senegal forward out for several weeks, Liverpool's attack still looked potent in Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Mane will sit out the rest of the effort because of knee injury, which needs operation following an embarrassing tangle with Leighton Baines during last week's Merseyside derby triumph over Everton.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp is certain that Mane needed surgery; as a result, it is "pretty much impossible for him to play again this season".

"I watched the game against Chelsea (on March 13) and it was a really good game", Klopp explained, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool will certainly be without Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson for Saturday's trip to Stoke City, while Philippe Coutinho is facing a race against time to recover from illness. It will be close (for the Stoke clash).

Hopefully, in the time since Liverpool last went through an injury-plagued stretch, Klopp and his coaches have managed to figure out a solution to the rather hard question of how to replace four of the club's best players.

"Similar with Henderson, he is in a good way but we do not know when he will be training again".

"After 60 minutes he was getting exhausted then we couldn't involve him in our training regularly".

It is clear then that Mane's injury will have a big impact on Liverpool's pursuit of Champions League qualification.

"On the other hand, we've probably still scored the most goals in the Premier League so far [66 - five more than Arsenal], so it's part of the game that we try to create moments all the time".

The 21-year-old has only started eight Premier League games all season but has found the net in his last two outings against Everton and the Cherries. "All my thoughts are only about the players I can involve". "[They have had] different performances obviously, not the best results but are still really good and always hard to play". Maybe when I know the system we exactly want to play in [against Stoke], that depends too on what the doc tells me.

"We have to only think about the things we can influence now", added the Liverpool manager.

  • Julie Sanders