Judging by the instant social media reaction, there was a real sense of deflation from Liverpool supporters when it emerged yesterday (Tuesday) that Sadio Mane will be sidelined for six weeks.
With their quickest player, and a man crucial to launching the devastating counter-attacks that is such a big part of Jurgen Klopp’s offensive game plan, out of Saturday’s showdown against Manchester United at Anfield, it is back to the drawing board for Liverpool.
But that does not mean the Merseyside giants cannot triumph in the lunchtime clash of the giants. Far from it.
Even without Mane and fellow injured attacker Adam Lallana, Klopp can still field a team capable of ripping United to shreds despite their fine start to the season under Jose Mourinho.
The German will need to make some tweaks to the side that laboured to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United before the international break.
This Is Futbol has selected a team of four changes that would represent Liverpool’s strongest available XI against United, which includes a 23-year-old who has barely figured this season: