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Liverpool team news: Klopp optimistic influential ace could face Norwich City

Liverpool face Manchester City for the Community Shield on Sunday, but their Premier League campaign gets underway just days later against Norwich City.

After the disappointment of their title bid last season, the Merseyside giants will be desperate to make a positive start when they welcome the Canaries to Anfield next Friday night.

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In order to have the best possible chance of doing so, Jurgen Klopp will hope that he has as close to a full strength squad available as possible.

Given his late return to pre-season due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, doubts have emerged over Sadio Mane being able to feature in that league opener, as he will miss out against City this weekend and return to training on Monday.

However, Klopp has painted a relatively positive picture of the situation, as the German tactician has commended Mane’s approach off the pitch and suggested that given he looks after himself well, he may well be able to call upon the Senegal international for the Norwich encounter.

“Sadio had 16 days off, he will be in a good shape,” Klopp is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t eat too much, he had a training programme.

“Maybe after 10 days probably he started with a little bit of running, so I think he will be fine. But we have to see.”

The 27-year-old was a pivotal figure for Liverpool last season, scoring 26 goals and providing five assists in 50 appearances.

However, it’s crucial that he has the necessary rest and recovery period to ensure that he doesn’t suffer from being burned out as the Premier League campaign progresses this season, given he hasn’t been able to take much of a break this summer.

With that in mind, Klopp could choose to be cautious with him and leave him out to start with, or perhaps the other approach would be to involve him if he’s fit enough, and then perhaps manage him carefully through the opening stage of the season to rest him where possible.

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