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Liverpool v Southampton

Premier League Liverpool to host Southampton on Saturday at Anfield

On Saturday, November 18. titan club Liverpool will host Southampton at Anfield Road. Liverpool currently sit 5th on the England Premier League Table, Southampton is in 13th place going into GameWeek 12. Adam Lallana is back and fit again. Lallana 'will feel like a new signing' for Liverpool going into a hectic winter term of fixtures. Lallana has not featured for Liverpool in the 2017-18 season after sustaining a thigh injury during the pre-season. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed that 29-year-old Lallana is on track to make his comeback when England Premier League football resumes after the international break. The midfielder's availability will surely give the Reds a timely boost going into the busy Christmas period. "It will feel like a new signing. Adam played a crucial part last year," said Klopp about Lallana. "He is one who can offensively play in a number of positions, so it will be great to have him back, he will be raring to go and he will be fresh. He has plenty of ability, he’s added goals to his repertoire as well so he will be a welcome return. He’s a lovely player to watch on the eye and he offers a lot. Like I said before it’s a crucial period. It’s a crucial time to pick up points and not drop silly points. With the demands of football now you are playing three games a week and it becomes very stressful. To have someone like Lallana back who you can get a run of games out of is a massive boost for the club."

Klopp hopes to have Sadio Mane available after the winger returned for the Reds during their 4-1 win over West Ham United that preceded the International break. Starting against the Hammers, Senegalese Mane demonstrated his value to the Reds by providing two assists. "You miss him when he is not there,” said Mcateer. "The manager said he would come back after the international break, but he obviously spoke to the physios and the player and he was raring to go. He got his performance against West Ham spot on. He just adds something different. I think the players look around the dressing room and when he is fit and playing he gives a massive boost to the team. I know everyone talks about Coutinho being the star man but he is right up there as being vitally important for Liverpool and it’s important he come back from the break fit at this crucial time." Liverpool superstar Philippe Coutinho has recovered from an adductor problem ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield and Klopp has some squad selection options. Ex-star Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer thinks Klopp will welcome the chance to rotate his men to ensure fresh legs over an upcoming winter schedule that will see the Reds contest 13 games in 45 days.

"This is why you put a squad of numbers together,” continued McAteer. “You have cup games thrown in there, we have Champions League this year and we have a run of games over this period. I think he has a squad more than able to cope with the demands that come their way. There is a lot of football to be played up until New Year, but like I said we are getting players back and there are a lot of players playing in Europe this year. There are probably one or two players who are able to get on the bench and not start week in week out, but there are also a lot who see themselves as a big part of the first team and play a lot of football. You look at James Milner who didn’t play at the start of the season but he has played the last five games and he will play a big part coming in. It’s all about balancing and playing people at the right time. The physical team, the medical team, the scientists at the club will all be watching the players closely and recovering properly and rehydrating." Reds boss Jürgen Klopp reacted to the news that Reds No.19 Sadio Mane will return to Melwood earlier than expected this week after Senegal confirmed his release from their squad. The forward was back at the club’s training complex after helping his country earn a spot in their first World Cup finals in 16 years with a 2-0 win over South Africa in Polokwane on Friday night. Senegal are set to face the same opposition in the second leg return match, but with qualification for Russia secured, Mane was not be involved after a statement released by The Lions of Teranga announced Mane would be heading back to his club after ‘slightly feeling’ an old injury. Mane recently missed 5 fixtures with a hamstring injury and Klopp confirmed Liverpool will assess the extent of the problem when Mane is back at Melwood training ahead of their return to EPL action against Southampton on Saturday.

“First and foremost, I have to say big congratulations to Senegal on the achievement of qualifying for the World Cup; this is fantastic news for their country and the players - Sadio included,” said Klopp. “Aliou Cisse and his guys have done a fantastic job there and you can see them making a real impact in Russia come next summer. Personally speaking, I’m delighted for Sadio. Everyone in Liverpool knows his ability and the best players should be on the best stage. Sadio will now have this wonderful chance. Specifically on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously, it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days. At this stage, we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him. There has been really strong communication between ourselves and the Senegal team management to ensure the player is properly protected and looked after. We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care. It should not be forgotten in Liverpool, either, how important it is to Sadio that he represents his country whenever he is fit enough to do so. He is so proud of his country and recognizes what a role model he is for them. So, in this moment all I can really say with certainty is that we will assess Sadio as soon as he lands back in the country and make decisions on what rehab and treatment give him the best chance of being back fit and strong for the important fixtures we have coming.”

Meanwhile, Sadio Mane believes Liverpool will see the best of the “incredible” Mohamed Salah in the games ahead. The Egyptian striker joined the Reds in the summer transfer window from AS Roma and currently is the team’s current high scorer with 12 goals in 17 appearances. Mane enjoyed playing with Salah in an explosive counter-attacking combination to open the scoring at West Ham United. “Mo is a great lad and an incredible player,” said Mane. “It is good that he has settled in so easily and there is so much more still to come from him. We get on well and I enjoy playing with him, but that’s the same with everyone. We have a very exciting team and we all want to help the club be successful.” After Salah’s arrival Mane shifted from his role on the right of Liverpool’s three-man attack to the left side. “It doesn’t matter to me which position I have to be in because I have played in all the attacking roles - right, left, as the No.10, second striker, and No.9,” said twenty-five-year-old Mane. “My job is the same wherever I am on the pitch. I have to always be an option, to be aggressive and direct, to be a defender too and to help us play quicker.”

Salah’s smooth transition into Liverpool life was much like Mane’s 12 months earlier. The No.19 marked his Reds’ debut with a stunning solo goal in a hard-fought 4-3 win against Arsenal on the opening day of 2016-17, establishing Mane as a key player in Klopp’s squad in his 16 months at the club. Mane attributes his smooth transition at Liverpool to the coaching staff, other players and the Reds supporters. “From the first day, they have shown me that we are a family. If you want to be successful when you play, you have to be free in your mind and that happens if you know that everything is taken care of - you just focus on the football,” said Mane who is considered one of the most exciting attacking players in the game. “I have a good relationship with everyone off the pitch and you can see that it follows on the pitch too. It makes things easier and, if we are all together, we get stronger as individuals too. The support from the fans is also important when you feel loved and like they are really behind you, it’s like you can achieve anything. I am different as soon as I am on the pitch, because I had to fight so much and work so hard to become a professional footballer, so I have to give everything that I can,” he added. “When I finish games, I want to have the feeling that I helped my team as much as I could and the fans saw I was determined to win. I am like this and my attitude is always like this - you cannot be happy if you do not believe you have done your very best.”

Belgium international and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet talked about the upcoming challenges posed by the Premier League’s jam-packed winter schedule. Liverpool’s home game against Southampton on Saturday and their trip to Burnley on New Year's Day bookend a 45-day period that includes 13 Premier League and Champions League fixtures. Last year Liverpool won six of their 10 matches winter season matches, only losing once. “You take every game as it comes, really,” said Mignolet. “Don’t look too far ahead, make sure you’re prepared for the next one, try to recover after it, and get yourself up for the next one as well. That’s the way to go. I’ve been here in England for seven years now and I’m pretty used to how it goes in that winter period. You have to make sure you stay healthy and fit, get the right rest and recovery off the pitch and then put the work in on it, and everything will take care of itself. I think that’s what we need at this moment in time as well. We have a long run to push ourselves up with the rest of the teams at the top of the Premier League so that’s what the aim is and if we can get on that run, then anything is possible.”

Jurgen Klopp health status

Jürgen Klopp took himself to the hospital on Wednesday as a precautionary measure, after feeling ill. He was assessed by doctors and missed training on Wednesday as a result. There are currently no plans for Jürgen to remain in the hospital beyond his appointment and he returned home on Wednesday evening. Klopp may require further check-ups in the coming days. The club urges that the privacy of Jürgen, his family and other patients is respected while attending hospital visits. In February 2016 Klopp, who last week made a trip to South Africa for a charity event, missed the 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland after being hospitalised after suffering appendicitis. On Wednesday, Liverpool continued training preparations at Melwood for the Reds weekend match with Southampton in the absence of Jürgen Klopp. With the Liverpool manager keeping a hospital appointment, his assistants Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz oversaw Wednesday’s training session. A number of the Reds' returning internationals trained, while Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana were welcome participants having overcome recent injuries. Sadio Mane continued his rehabilitation after a 'slight' recurrence of a hamstring injury he got on international duty. Klopp’s assistants Peter Krawietz and Zelko Buvac plus coach Pepijn Lijnders took Wednesday's training in manager Klopp’s absence. Players joining the session after international duty included Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who both played for Brazil against England at Wembley, Simon Mignolet (Belgium) and Joe Gomez, Dominic Solanke and Trent Alexander-Arnold - who represented England at senior and under-21 level - and Wales footballers Ben Woodburn and Danny Ward. Senegal's Sadio Mane is complaining of another problem with his hamstring but has not yet been ruled out for the weekend.

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