Liverpool handed Merseyside derby boost as key duo return to training

Liverpool have been given a major lift after news today that Sadio Mane and Thiago can play in the Merseyside derby.

Both players returned to training on Monday at the club’s Melwood complex, after returning negative results for Covid-19, following a 10 day period of isolation.

The two international stars had tested positive for Coronavirus before the Premier League break, and were forced to sit out games for their countries.

Thiago also missed the games against Arsenal and Aston Villa, while Mane was absent for the visit to Villa Park, as they followed strict protocols relating to the infections of the virus, and went into strict lockdowns.

Thiago offered a hint he had been given the all clear when he posted a picture on social media, apparently taken last weekend, of him in Liverpool city centre.

Under protocols, any player who tests positive must isolate for at least 10 days and then produce two negative tests, before being allowed to resume group activities.

With both now back in training they have received the negative tests required, and both could now be starters for the derby showdown against Arsenal on Saturday.

Boss Jurgen Klopp tends to turn to players who have rested during international breaks, and with some of his stars playing across the globe and not due back until Thursday at the training ground, he will be inclined to include both Thiago and Mane.


Klopp though, seems likely to be without Naby Keita, after the midfielder tested positive for the virus while on international duty with his country Guinea.

Keita tested positive with four other members of the Guinea team while preparing for friendly games against Cape Verde and Gambia in Portugal, and went into immediate isolation.

He is now waiting for the results of a follow up test, and if that too is positive he will be forced into quarantine for at least another week, which would mean he misses the game at Goodison, and almost certainly the Champions League visit to Ajax.

The news comes amid some controversy with media outlets in Guinea suggesting the national team failed to follow protocols relating to a bubble all players should be placed in.

There are claims that the Guinea players were forced to share rooms, and even apartments with other members of the squad, which is being cited as a reason behind the five positives.

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves' Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There's a lot to keep track of.

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Klopp had last week cited his concern at squad members being exposed to unnecessary risks while on international duty.

"I don't want to sound disrespectful about how other countries are doing it but this is the place that we know and we know how we are dealing with it.

"So I am slightly concerned because it is difficult to be in contact with all FAs all over the world."

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