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Jurgen Klopp facing Liverpool squad dilemmas as he discusses dropping Sadio Mane


Jurgen Klopp insists Sadio Mane’s below par showing against Real Madrid was not behind his omission against Aston Villa.

The Liverpool boss started without the Senegal star in the 2-1 win as he sought the right balance in his starting XI.

Diogo Jota’s form has created a conundrum for Klopp who is struggling to accommodate all four strikers.

A lack of form has also not helped Mane’s case with goals hard to come by in recent months.

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Liverpool’s poor recent run has forced Klopp to shake-up his team’s balance, with Mane the man to lose out on this occasion.

When quizzed on whether the forward’s showing at Madrid lead to him being dropped Klopp said: “No, not it’s pure coincidence that you brought up at that moment.

Sadio Mane was left on the bench for Liverpool's win over Aston Villa
Sadio Mane was left on the bench for Liverpool’s win over Aston Villa

“Well not you personally, but the media brought up Sadio didn’t score for so many games.

“It’s a situation you have a look at who is performing how and stuff like this, how does it work together? Where can Bobby play and Mo obviously and Diogo, what can they do?

“How can we set-up our midfield what is the right level of aggression? But also football-wise we are playing in the right spaces, all these kind of things that is what you consider when you think about the line-up.

“I didn’t have to do it (drop Mane) but today I did it.”

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Jurgen Klopp is having to shuffle his pack
Jurgen Klopp is having to shuffle his pack

Liverpool’s late win is the ideal preparation ahead of their clash with Madrid on Wednesday.

The Reds need to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit at Anfield and Klopp accepts that they must avoid a repeat of their display in Spain.

“We need a perfect performance on Wednesday if we want to have a chance only – just for a chance,” added the German.

“I really think the way we played and the way Real Madrid played there, it doesn’t look very promising but the good thing is we can play better. That would change the game already, but we have to.

“We don’t have to make it now too big already… Real Madrid doesn’t come here and think they are already through and these kind of things.

“It will be a tough one, but we will give it a try I can promise – and that’s the only thing we can say.”

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