By 90Min
November 11, 2017

Liverpool are reportedly hopeful that star forward Sadio Mane will return to Merseyside from international duty early after Senegal's win over South Africa on Friday night sealed the country's World Cup qualification and ensured their final game in meaningless.

Mane played 90 minutes as Senegal topped CAF group D as a result of the away win in Polokwane, a fixture that had to be replayed after the referee who took charge of the controversial first one in 2016 was later banned from football over corruption charges.

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It means that Senegal's final game, also against South Africa, is meaningless in the context of qualifying, with the Liverpool Echo suggesting that Liverpool want Mane back to ensure he is protected against injury after only just recovering from a hamstring problem.

Speaking on the matter, Jurgen Klopp said, "I'm really happy for Senegal that they could go to the World Cup and they need Sadio Mane for this, I understand, he is fit to play.

"The only thing I would ask is if they can make it in the first game then it would be cool if he could come back and could make the preparations for our game against Southampton."

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The former Southampton star was sidelined for an estimated period of six weeks earlier this season, only to be make his return ahead of schedule against West Ham immediately prior to the international break.

With Mane having struggled with injury absences at various points in his Liverpool career to date, the club is being understandably cautious with his fitness and want no risks of re-injury, especially in unnecessary circumstances such as Senegal's 'dead rubber' qualifier.

Before facing West Ham last weekend, Mane hadn't featured for Liverpool since the draw with Newcastle on 1st October. He had only just returned from a three-game domestic suspension at that point, meaning the 25-year-old has hardly featured at all since early September.

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