Sadio Mane is reportedly struggling to be fit for Liverpool’s trip to face struggling Burnley tonight after suffering a foot injury in Sunday’s dramatic Merseyside derby win over Everton.
With the busy festive period coming up, Jurgen Klopp will not want to worsen the pacy wideman’s fitness issue unnecessarily.
If Sean Dyche’s side were the force they were last season, the German may be tempted to thrust Mane back into action and ask him to play through the pain.
But they’re not; Saturday’s pitful performance against Crystal Palace undermined just how far the Clarets have fallen and Klopp may view the match as an opportunity to rotate his squad.
Klopp has no shortage of forwards champing at the bit for an opportunity in the first team; Daniel Sturridge has had a tough time off the pitch lately, Dominic Solanke enjoyed an impressive international break but cannot break into Klopp’s plans, while Divock Origi netted a dramatic late winner on Sunday.
Those options may convince Klopp to protect Mane, especially against a side who are far below their best at present and conceding goals and chances for fun.
If a fringe player does get the nod, it would represent a huge chance to force their way into Klopp’s plans for the hectic Christmas period.