Monday, October 3, 2022

Liverpool Star Duo Return To Training Ahead Of Everton Clash: Big Boost For The Reds?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, the Daily Mirror has revealed that Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara are set to return to training ahead of their highly anticipated Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park this weekend. It has been reported that both players were seen attending training at Melwood on Monday as they returned negative results for Covid-19, after serving out a 10-day isolation period (via The Daily Mirror).

The Growing Importance Of Mane And Thiago At Merseyside

There is no hiding from the fact that both Mane and Thiago were sorely missed when the Merseyside giants suffered a humiliating 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park before the international break. Therefore, having them back in training will be a welcome bit of news for anyone associated with Liverpool heading into this weekend’s crucial showdown versus the Toffees.

Mane has already scored three goals in three league matches for the Reds so far, which highlights his importance at Anfield. The Senegalese international has begun this campaign on an impressive fashion as he is averaging 1.7 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 4.3 shots, 2.0 key passes and 3.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He even managed to distribute the ball well after making 83.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Thiago made an eye-catching debut for Liverpool when he came off the bench to feature for the whole of the second half versus Chelsea and helped his new team come away with all three points from Stamford Bridge earlier this season. The 29-year-old registered three goals and two assists in 40 appearances for his former club, Bayern Munich last season across various competitions.

Liverpool's Mane and Thiago return to training (Liverpool's Sadio Mane is in action in the photo)
Sadio Mané of Liverpool looks to break past Jeremy Ngakia of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on February 24, 2020, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Spaniard boasted a pass success rate of 90.5% in league football and did well to average 1.9 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 0.5 clearances, 0.8 shots, 0.8 key passes and 3.0 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign (stats via whoscored).

Mane has arguably been Liverpool’s best attacker over the past 18 months while a lot is expected of Thiago, who arrived at Anfield fresh after winning the UEFA Champions League trophy with Bayern Munich. Jurgen Klopp would be desperate to get a positive response from his players and earn a win at Goodison Park on Saturday. However, for that to happen, the German tactician would need his best players like Mane and Thiago available for selection for this upcoming contest against Everton.

Mane And Thiago Return To Training: Massive Boost For The Reds?

Having both of them back in training will be a big boost for Liverpool and their hopes of bouncing back by picking up all three points in the Merseyside derby. With a lot of football coming up after the international break, the Reds would be overly reliant on their best players as they look to build a solid platform for their Premier League title defence. The experienced duo will also help the Merseyside outfit get more favourable results on the pitch due to their ability to win matches on their own.

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