Cape Town - Premier League leaders Liverpool will be without
the services of Sadio Mane for their next two games due to injury.
Mane was forced off during the 2-1 win over Wolves last
Thursday night with a muscle injury and sat out the FA Cup draw at League One
Shrewsbury at the weekend, but his boss, Jurgen Klopp, was pleased to allay
fans' concerns, confirming the injury is not as serious as initially feared.
"Sadio will not be involved for West Ham and probably
not for Southampton," said Klopp in his press conference. "After that,
he should be then fine."
The Senegal international has been in fine form on
Merseyside this season with 15 goals in all competitions, playing an
instrumental part in the Liverpool side that is charging towards an elusive
first Premier League title.
However, the 27-year-old has drawn a blank in his last three
league outings and the impact of his absence will be softened somewhat by the
form of Roberto Firmino - who has two in his last three - not to mention the
constant threat posed by Mo Salah, also with 11 league goals to his name this
Liverpool lead second-place Manchester City by a healthy
16-point margin and Klopp's side show no signs of relenting going into their
game in hand.
Unbeaten in the league since their close-run 2-1 defeat to
eventual champions Manchester City on January 3, 2019, the Reds will face the
Hammers twice in less than a month as they bear the brunt of a congested
David Moyes takes his team to Anfield on February 24, but
must first work out how best to deal with the dominant Merseysiders when they
visit the London Stadium on Wednesday.
If his side are to do the unthinkable and become the first
Premier League side to topple the leaders, he will be the only West Ham boss to
take three points off Liverpool since early 2016, when Michail Antonio and Andy
Carroll helped Slaven Bilic's Hammers to a 2-0 home victory.
Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time).