Mané and Alexander-Arnold both expected to return to Liverpool's starting eleven for Spartak clash

Liverpool duo Sadio Mané and Trent Alexander-Arnold are both likely to return to the starting line-up for the Reds' Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow, manager Jürgen Klopp has hinted.

Mané and Alexander-Arnold both expected to return to Liverpool's starting eleven for Spartak clash
(Picture: Getty Images - John Powell)

Jürgen Klopp has suggested both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mané will return to the starting line-up for Liverpool's encounter with Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

The Reds make the four-hour flight to the Russian capital for their second Champions League group stage game of the season against the reigning Russian champions at the Otkrytiye Arena.

And they welcome winger Mané back from a three-game ban which has kept him out since their previous European clash, a 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla on September 13.

Right-back Alexander-Arnold could also feature for the first time in three games with Joe Gomez serving a one-match suspension and left out of the 21-man travelling squad.

Embed from Getty Images

Klopp: It "makes sense" for Mané to start

Klopp told Liverpool's official website that Mané is "back and available again" and added: "If he is available it makes sense to bring him [into the team] from the beginning but we will see."

He declared it "difficult" to name his starting line-up so early before the game but noted that they have done "some analysis" of Spartak already.

The German said that they will have a meeting with the first-team squad on Tuesday morning by which time they will "make the line-up."

He further explained: "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."

On Alexander-Arnold's expected return, with Gomez suspended and first-choice right-back Nathaniel Clyne injured, Klopp said: "It's likely but at the moment nothing is sure. But probably."

Klopp also confirmed that Loris Karius will start in goal, his first appearance since the club's last group game against Sevilla.

He said: "I am not sure if I have to make a decision like this [the club having a 'Champions League goalkeeper']. It's all about performing. That shouldn't be taken as me saying, 'You are not performing, you’re out of the goal'."

The manager explained that "everyone is allowed to make mistakes" but that his chosen shot-stopper is "about performing in training and the games", adding: "Loris will play and we will see. But Simon [Mignolet] is the No.1 and that's the situation."

Embed from Getty Images

No new injury issues to deal with 

Liverpool ended a four-game run without a win away at Leicester City on Saturday, beating the Foxes 3-2 in an enthralling Premier League clash thanks in large part to Philippe Coutinho's display.

Yet though just a few days have passed between the clash in the East Midlands and the trip to Moscow, Klopp insisted that while it is "something to think about" for his line-up it is "not a problem."

He insisted that they "don't play again until Sunday" and so they have "a long part of the week" off afterwards.

Klopp also added that Liverpool face no fresh injury problems despite their hectic fixture schedule, acknowledging a few "normal things" but nothing he and his staff "should think about."

"It's all good. We have 18 players plus three goalkeepers with us," he continued. "It's a little bit different because we had to train this morning [Monday], which is a little bit too early for the game tomorrow [Tuesday]."

He said that Liverpool's squad have been "long enough together" to understand their tactics and game plan, adding that such a scenario is a byproduct of playing European football which he insists he likes.

Klopp joked: "It's always a little bit of a kind of adventure, things are different and sometimes not what we're used to. Moscow is a big, big city and the traffic is intense!"

The Reds boss also that their general shape and fitness of his squad is "good" and that their form is "good", adding: "So no problem. We had a good success [at Leicester], three points, so the feeling is good. We're all in a good mood and everything is fine."