Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are “refreshed” after a much-needed rest during the international break.
Both Mane and Salah, on the back of a long Liverpool season which did not finish until their Champions League final success on June 1, had a hectic summer taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations, for Senegal and Egypt respectively. Mane went all the way to the final, meaning he only reported back to training with Liverpool five days before the start of the new season. Neither has suffered from a dip in form, with the pair scoring seven league goals between them already, but with neither Egypt nor Senegal in action in the latest round of international fixtures, Salah and Mane stayed in Liverpool, with Klopp giving them the rest he feels they deserved.
“It was perfect for the boys who did not have to go,” Klopp said. “I am happy for them to go and play for their national team, it is a big honour. “But I have said it 500 times, if you see the boys who did not have to go this time, for different reasons, then everything is different. “To have five or six days off, they always train, but they don’t have to be here and play proper football sessions. “We could have trained as there were five players here, but then Sadio and Mo would not have got the time off that they needed. “We now have another week with two games, which is not easy, but we cannot change that.
“They are refreshed, that is how it is, and hopefully we can use that.” There was a further boost from Klopp’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s match with Newcastle, with Klopp revealing injured goalkeeper Alisson’s situation has improved, but there remains no rush to bring the Brazil international back to the first-team fold. “Alisson is improving but we can’t put any pressure on him,” Klopp added. “It was a serious injury in the calf but now it’s much better. It is good for us, good for him. We don’t know exactly [the return date]. “The target was always after the next international break he could be ready but we don’t know. Hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season.”