Many a fan online was more than wowed by the quality at Liverpool’s disposal in the first-XI and beyond as key men returned to action.
The absence of Diogo Jota from the former, however, did have more than one virtual eyebrow raised on Twitter as supporters questioned why the Portuguese international had been relegated to the bench after his superb performance at Anfield midweek, with James Pearce relaying Jurgen Klopp’s explanation online.
Klopp says Jota had a dead leg and didn't train yesterday. Initial plan was to start Jota and bring Mane on. #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) February 13, 2022
That’s not to suggest any will be massively disappointed to see AFCON-winner Sadio Mane back in the first-team as part of a more traditional forward line also including Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino – a combination not observed since October.
With our Brazilian international having looked like his former self of late since the resumption of domestic football, it’s an exciting prospect to consider.
Worst case scenario, we’ve some astonishing firepower on the bench in the form of our No.20, Luis Diaz and versatile wonderkid, Harvey Elliott, to bring on should there be a clear need.
It’s a shame to see our selection plan derailed a little, with us denied the opportunity to hand Mane a similar pathway back into the first-XI as was provided to our No.11 following his return from the AFCON, though we’ve no doubt he’ll be more than prepared to make an instant impact.