Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was more deserving of the Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2019 than Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to France great Alain Giresse.

After guiding Barca to LaLiga glory and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, Messi won the accolade for a sixth time back in September – he was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and claimed four Ballons d'Or while it was backed by world football's governing body.

Mane finished fifth in the voting, behind Liverpool team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Giresse, who coached Mane during his time in charge of Senegal between 2013 and 2015, insists the 28-year-old should have finished top after starring for Liverpool on their way to Champions League success.

"I definitely would have put Sadio Mane ahead of Messi, in terms of the season they had last season," he told ESPN.

"When I was head coach of Senegal, Sadio was still young but he had ahead of him an enormous potential, a technical potential, and a moral potential to go on to become a great player, as he has become today."

Giresse, named French Player of the Year three times in the 1980s, was Tunisia head coach until August and should have been eligible to vote.

"I didn't receive the ballot sheet, so it wasn't me who voted [on Tunisia's behalf]. I can't say who did, but it wasn't me," he said. The top pick credited to Giresse was Ronaldo, with Van Dijk second and Messi third.

Former Bordeaux and Marseille midfielder Giresse also managed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at international level with Gabon. 

Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season and Giresse believes the Arsenal striker is now among the world's best.

"I launched Pierre-Emerick with the Gabon national team, at the start of his development, his expansion and his progression," he said.

"We can all see his pathway and the level he's reached now. We're talking about [him moving to] Real Madrid, so it shows how this player has reached a world-class level, and you could say the same about Sadio."

For so long, Real Madrid have been tipped to sign Kylian Mbappe.

Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for the Paris Saint-Germain sensation.

But, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool could throw a spanner in the works, especially if Sadio Mane departs Merseyside.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL EYEING MBAPPE AMID MANE FEARS

Liverpool are plotting a move for Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe amid fears over Sadio Mane's future at Anfield, according to The Sun.

Mane is contracted until 2023 but Liverpool are reportedly growing anxious as Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain monitor the situation.

As a result, Liverpool are eyeing PSG star Mbappe and Mane could figure in a swap deal plus £200million (€221m), which could disrupt Madrid's grand plans for the French forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport Bild claims Bayern Munich have offered €40m (£36m) for Manchester City star Leroy Sane, who is set to leave the Premier League giants at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga champions are targeting Ajax sensation Sergino Dest. Sport Bild reports the United States international will arrive if they satisfy Ajax's demands, though Bayern are only thinking of a loan deal at the moment.

- It is a race against time for Miralem Pjanic to move to Barcelona. Sport says Barca and Juventus want to reach a deal by the end of June so it can be counted as part of the current season. The proposed deal would likely see Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio join Barca, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction. However, Arthur is reluctant to swap Barcelona for Turin.

- Sport Bild reports Borussia Dortmund see no reason to sell Manchester United target Jadon Sancho in the off-season unless a club offers over €100m.

Mario Gotze remains in the sights of Milan, reports Calciomercato. Gotze will not renew his expiring contract at Dortmund and is set to leave Signal Iduna Park. Lazio have been linked but Milan are eyeing the German, with Ralf Rangnick reportedly in line to take over in the dugout.

- Napoli have turned down Liverpool's bid for star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Tuttosport says Juve want Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik to partner superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Juve are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi as a makeweight in the deal.

- FC Inter News says Inter have rejected an offer from Marseille for midfielder Joao Mario. The Portuguese has spent the season on loan in Russia via Lokomotiv Moscow.

Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved sooner rather than later.

The England international is tipped to return to his homeland after leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old attacker.

 

TOP STORY – REDS IN POLE POSITION FOR SANCHO

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho is a player in demand, the former Manchester City youngster linked with a return to England via Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested, but Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool appear to be favourites to land the England international if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims United are considering a move for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. The Italy international has scored a Serie A-high 27 goals this season amid links to Liverpool and Napoli.

Chelsea are not close to reaching an agreement over Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, says The Athletic. Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Havertz, who is also reportedly wanted by United, Liverpool, Madrid and Barcelona. But Chelsea – who are set to bring RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge – are apparently nowhere near matching Leverkusen's asking price.

- The Independent reports Dortmund are set to beat United to Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old is coveted by Dortmund and United, however, the Bundesliga side are viewed as the more attractive option to give the wonderkid game time.

- Could Dries Mertens leave Napoli for Barcelona? Mertens' contract is set to expire, though the Belgium forward has been tipped to sign an extension. Het Nieuwsblad says Barca could turn to the Napoli star if they are unable to prise Lautaro Martinez from Inter.

Chelsea believe Champions League football will convince Leicester City's Ben Chilwell to snub Manchester City for the London club, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea have been linked to another full-back – France Football claims the Blues are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, who is available on a free transfer and wanted by the likes of Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter.

- Tuttosport says Inter are targeting Nice centre-back Malang Sarr. The 21-year-old has also been linked to Pep Guardiola's City.

- According to The Telegraph, Barca are prepared to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho's wage to help the Brazilian leave Camp Nou. Tottenham and Newcastle United are possible destinations.

Liverpool are eyeing a double transfer raid on Wolves for stars Ruben Neves and Adama Traore, says The Sun.

With Kylian Mbappe seemingly out of reach for the time being, Real Madrid's focus has reportedly turned to Sadio Mane.

Liverpool star Mane has been linked with the LaLiga giants previously, having starred in the Premier League.

With Madrid potentially waiting until next year to move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe, Mane could be a more immediate target.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID FOCUS ON MANE OVER MBAPPE

Real Madrid are still thinking about Liverpool forward Mane, according to Le 10 Sport.

It says Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane sees Mane as an ideal signing this close season, with the club waiting until next year to target Mbappe, who is out of contract in 2022.

Mane has scored 14 goals and provided seven assists in 26 Premier League games this season, which is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Change is expected at Barcelona this close season. However, Sport reports the LaLiga giants are assuming that Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Ousmane Dembele – who have all been linked with moves away – will stay.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a departure from Arsenal. Le 10 Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward.

- Jean-Clair Todibo is set for a permanent Barcelona exit. The cover of Sport says the defender, who is on loan at Schalke, will be their first sale with "good offers" from the Premier League. Barcelona are expecting more than €25million for the 20-year-old.

- Another player linked with a Camp Nou exit is Ivan Rakitic. But Mundo Deportivo reports the Croatia midfielder, who is contracted until 2021, wants to stay due to a good relationship with coach Quique Setien.

- Victor Moses' future is uncertain. The Sun reports the attacker is set to leave Inter, where he is on loan, because Chelsea want around €12m (£10.75m) for Moses. Moses has a deal until 2021 at Stamford Bridge.

Timo Werner is heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, but how could the forward fit at the Premier League giants?

Werner, 24, is reportedly prioritising Jurgen Klopp's side, having starred for RB Leipzig this season.

The Germany international said in February he was proud to be linked to Liverpool, who won the Champions League last season and were dominating the Premier League this campaign before it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Klopp has Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino at his disposal already and the trio are widely regarded as one of the best attacks in the world.

We use Opta data to assess Werner and the trio, and look at the forward in comparison to Firmino's final season in the Bundesliga before joining Liverpool.

 

Prolific Werner could add something different

Werner has scored 21 goals, including three penalties, in 25 Bundesliga games this season, with Leipzig – who are third in the table – heavily reliant on the forward. Liverpool have less of a reliance on one player, with Salah (16), Mane (14) and Firmino (eight) netting 38 between them in the Premier League. That means Werner has scored a goal every 97.6 minutes in the Bundesliga, far better than the best of Liverpool's trio – Salah at 140.4. Werner also leads the four players in the Champions League with a goal every 144.8 minutes.

He has also had the most 'big chances' with 29, and converted quite well in the Bundesliga. Werner has converted 48.3 per cent of his 'big chances', with only Salah (61.9) bettering that, and Mane (34.8) and Firmino (20.8) well below.

Salah has created the most 'big chances' of the quartet with 12, although it is only narrowly ahead of the rest with Werner sitting at 10, Firmino on nine and Mane on seven. However, Salah has just six assists compared to seven for each of the other three.

Firmino's contribution beyond just goals

Sometimes questioned for his lack of goals, Firmino's movement and work rate are lauded at Liverpool. The Brazilian has won possession in the final third 27 times in the Premier League this season, with Werner (18) below Firmino, Salah (23) and Mane (21). Werner has won possession in the final third just once in eight Champions League games, falling behind the other three with Salah (six) leading the way.

Firmino is also a more successful dribbler than the rest, completing 48 of 81 at 59.3 per cent in the league, with the other three below 55 per cent. Interestingly, Werner has struggled in this department in the Champions League, completing just seven of 21, well behind Firmino (18 of 28).

Werner delivering as Firmino did before move

Firmino joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in 2015 for a reported £29million, far less than the apparent £52m they would have to pay for Werner. Firmino turned 23 during his final Bundesliga season, while Werner celebrated his 24th birthday this campaign. So how does Firmino's last Bundesliga campaign compare to Werner this season?

During the 2014-15 season, Firmino scored seven goals and provided 10 assists in 33 Bundesliga games, while Werner has 21 and seven respectively in his 25. The Brazil international's numbers were impacted, however, by hitting the woodwork an extraordinary five times. It means Werner's 'big chance' conversion (48.3 per cent) is better than Firmino's was (30.8), although how different they are is again highlighted. Firmino created 67 chances from open play in that campaign, while Werner is up to 35. Firmino also won possession in the final third 28 times compared to Werner's 18. And while Werner has a better dribble success rate (54.1 to 53.6), Firmino attempted an incredible 261 compared to Werner's 85.

Werner has plenty to offer, and he can add a different dynamic – and plenty of depth – to an already stellar attack at Liverpool, potentially even creating a spectacular front four if Firmino drops in to play as a number 10.

Liverpool are reportedly looking at Kylian Mbappe in case they lose Sadio Mane to Real Madrid.

Mane has developed into one of the world's best players at Liverpool, leading to apparent interest from Madrid.

But the Premier League leaders are considering a huge signing if the Senegal international does head to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL CONSIDER MBAPPE IF MANE JOINS REAL MADRID

Madrid are determined to sign Mane and Liverpool are targeting at Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe as a replacement, according to The Sun.

The report says Mane is not pushing for a move away from Anfield and the Reds are keen to see off Madrid.

Mbappe, 21, has been linked with Los Blancos previously, but perhaps Liverpool could land the France international.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Madrid and the Daily Star reports Manchester United are facing a battle with Los Blancos for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, who has been heavily rumoured to be destined for Old Trafford.

- It remains to be seen how Madrid can strengthen their attack this close season. Amid the Spanish club's links to Dortmund forward Erling Haaland, Bild claims the Norway international's opt-out clause at the Bundesliga club does not come into effect until 2022.

- Inter are already negotiating with Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, according to Sport. It reports Barca are open to letting the Chile international leave and want to include him in a deal for Lautaro Martinez but Inter are refusing that as it stands.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona are ready to keep Ousmane Dembele, according to Marca. The attacker has been touted for a move away from LaLiga's champions but is seemingly attracting little interest due to his recent injury struggles.

- Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is reportedly being eyed by PSG and Barcelona, but Premier League clubs are also considering him. The Mirror reports Chelsea and Tottenham are tracking the Cameroon international.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Dries Mertens appears likely to leave Napoli. CalcioMercato says Inter are keen to sign the Belgium forward.

Sadio Mane would "understand" if the 2019-20 season was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, even though Liverpool are just two wins away from claiming the title.

The Reds have been champions-in-waiting for some time, having taken 79 points from 29 games to open up a 25-point lead over Manchester City.

Yet the Premier League, like the vast majority of competitions across the world, has been halted due to restrictions designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It remains to be seen when, or even if, the Premier League will return as the hiatus has extended past the beginning of May already.

However, Mane insists there are bigger concerns given over 83,000 people have died after contracting coronavirus worldwide.

Asked if he felt like a champion already, Mane told talkSPORT: "I think not yet. I love my job and I love football, I want to win on the pitch.

"I want to win the games and I want to get the trophy, it's what I would love.

"But with this situation, whatever happens I will understand.

"It has been difficult for Liverpool, but it has been more difficult for many millions of people around the world. Some people have lost family members and that is the more complicated situation.

"But for myself, it's my dream and I want to win it this year.

"If that's not the case, I will accept. It's part of life. Hopefully we will win it next year."

Some - such as Manchester United's Luke Shaw - have suggested the Premier League should be voided if the season cannot resume.

However, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said earlier this week he sees "no way" in which Liverpool could be denied the title.

The Reds have not won a top-flight championship since 1989-90, prior to the inception of the Premier League.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp's side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool's resolve.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool's squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport's frontpage has the headline "Hands off Ronaldo". Sunday's newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a "real number nine" amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

- According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Leon BaileyLiverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- The Mirror says United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City's asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Jurgen Klopp remains unsure about the severity of Sadio Mane's injury but hailed Takumi Minamino for his performance when replacing the Senegal star against Wolves.

Mane went off in the first half of Thursday's 2-1 victory at Molineux with a hamstring problem, with Japan international Minamino thrown on for his first experience of Premier League football.

Klopp was delighted with the 25-year-old's efforts in a battling win, secured by Jordan Henderson's header and Roberto Firmino's late strike, which came after a Raul Jimenez equaliser.

The Liverpool boss had no update on Mane's condition when speaking to reporters on Friday ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round trip to Shrewsbury Town, but he appeared confident Minamino could fill in where required.

"I think we have to think about exactly what we do now because he played yesterday much longer than we thought," Klopp said. "It was a big step for him – come on. A game like this for nobody on the pitch was a game where you have to shine and make your best game ever and stuff like this, as a new player, in this kind of a battle.

"Showing up like he did, not with his skills in different departments of the game, but with his character, mentality – he was fighting like crazy, closed gaps, was involved in a lot of situations – it was just a super start.

"It was not 100 per cent his position, he can play there, but for yesterday it was exactly what he had to do. That was much more important than the next game. We'll have to see how he reacted to the intensity of that game, but each game helps, for sure."

Klopp has been delighted with Minamino's application since he arrived in a reported £7.25million deal from Salzburg.

"He's exactly the player we expected to get," he said. "Super player, super boy, really. You saw so many things of his ability last night. As footballers, if you only play the days when everything is clicking, when you're scoring two goals, assisting two more… this, as I said, was a proper fight.

"He's completely ready for that and for him, still in a new environment, a new team, he's really adapting and from a tactical point of view it was an outstanding game. In training, we see more of the finishing stuff, creating stuff… he's just the player we wanted."

Klopp intends to rotate his team much as he did for the third-round win over Everton, with Adrian set to start in goal, but he fears the game will come too soon for Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner to be involved.

"Adrian will be in goal, if he can," Klopp said. "For Shaq and Millie, it's too early; Naby [Keita], we'll have to see. My information is he will be part of training today. It's minus-two to the game so we have to see if he can be part of the session.

"We have a team, we'll have a team with fresh legs, we have players coming back or came back from injury, so it makes sense to play them because they're pretty good, and we want to go through.

"It's a tough place to go, it's how it always is in cup competitions."

Sadio Mane has a hamstring injury but Liverpool do not yet know the extent of the problem, manager Jurgen Klopp said.

The Senegal star went off in the first half of the Premier League leaders' 2-1 victory at Wolves on Thursday.

Mane pulled up when running for a Mohamed Salah pass and was replaced by Takumi Minamino 33 minutes in.

Klopp hopes the injury is not serious but will wait until further checks can be carried out on Friday.

"Sadio, it's a real shame he had to go off," he told BBC Sport. "Hopefully, it's not too bad, just a muscle tweak, but we will see tomorrow."

Klopp added in a news conference: "He felt something in the hamstring. We don't know yet; we have to wait."

Jordan Henderson's opener was cancelled out by Raul Jimenez and Wolves looked to be heading for what would have been a deserved point before Roberto Firmino struck in the 84th minute.

Klopp accepted his side were not at their best, with Wolves' goal particularly frustrating, but he was delighted with Firmino's clinical composure.

"We scored a wonderful goal, we had wonderful possession but the set-up from Wolves is so good - yes, it's counter-attacking, but it's about being well in possession, using the width of the pitch," he said.

"The goal from a counter-attack doesn't make sense when you're one-nil up, but okay.

"We changed the system two or three times, we calmed it down. We had incredible chances in the first half and then at the end it was a magic moment from Bobby.

"The boys are human. It was a little bit up and down. We had a discussion on the pitch, there was stuff to improve but set-pieces can bring us back in the game, a good bit of skill can bring us back in the game. Wolves were really strong but it's clear we could settle again.

"You just have to find a way to win and have someone who makes the perfect decision and that was Bobby again."

Liverpool moved 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League after Roberto Firmino struck a late winner in a 2-1 defeat of Wolves at Molineux.

The Brazil striker's 10th goal of the season in all competitions six minutes from time was enough to seal a 22nd win from 23 league games this season for Jurgen Klopp's runaway leaders.

There was something of a setback for the visitors, though, who lost Sadio Mane to injury in the first half.

Jurgen Klopp's side had gone 725 minutes without conceding a goal in the top flight, stretching back to the 5-2 win over Everton in December, until Raul Jimenez cancelled out Jordan Henderson's opener.

It looked as though Wolves would be heading for what would have been a deserved point until Firmino fired home from inside the box, as Liverpool stretched their unbeaten league run to 40 matches.

Sadio Mane has beaten Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez to the CAF African Player of the Year award for 2019.

Mane was a standout player as Liverpool went all the way in the 2018-19 Champions League, while he has also enjoyed a strong start to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

The Senegal international placed in the top three in each of the previous three years, finishing runner-up to Salah in 2017 and 2018, and third in 2016, when Mahrez came first.

But this time Mane claimed the prize, ahead of Liverpool team-mate Salah and Mahrez, who won a domestic treble with City and captained Algeria to glory at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

It is the first time since 2002 that a Senegalese player has claimed the award, with El Hadji Diouf winning it shortly after switching Lens for Liverpool.

While Liverpool's Champions League success undoubtedly helped Mane's chances, he also enjoyed a wonderful year individually.

In 36 Premier League outings in 2019, Mane scored 24 times and got six assists to leave Salah (18 goals and five assists from 34 matches) and Mahrez (seven goals and seven assists from 24 games) trailing in his wake.

Mane, Salah and Mahrez also formed part of CAF's star-studded Team of the Year.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was selected to lead the line, with Hakim Ziyech and Idrissa Gueye chosen in midfield, while Andre Onana takes the place in goal.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Joel Matip, Serge Aurier and Achraf Hakimi – who won the Young Player of the Year award – were the back four and Algeria's Djamel Belmadi was crowned Men's African Coach of the Year.

Real Madrid are already eyeing a move for Liverpool star Sadio Mane at the end of the season.

Mane has developed into one of the world's best attackers, starring for the Premier League leaders and finishing fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

Now, another one of Europe's biggest clubs are making initial moves for the 27-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MAKE CONTACT OVER MANE MOVE

Real Madrid have spoken to Mane's representatives about a possible move, according to Le 10 Sport.

Mane is contracted at Liverpool until 2023, but appears to be attracting interest from the LaLiga giants.

The Senegal international has scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in 27 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- The January transfer window will see Chelsea and Manchester City enter a bidding war for Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, according to The I.

- Similarities between Moussa Dembele and Didier Drogba have made the Lyon striker a target for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, according to Sky Sports News, with the 23-year-old having scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Ligue 1 side this season.

- Mikel Arteta is keen to assess all of his options as he aims to lift Arsenal back into the top half of the Premier League table, and he is considering a recall for £27million centre-back William Saliba from his season-long loan at Saint-Etienne according to The Mirror.

- Also on Arsenal's to-do list is a bid for promising RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who is also a target for Tottenham and Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

- Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce wants to bolster his midfield with the addition of Burnley pair Danny Drinkwater and Dwight McNeil, and reports in The Telegraph say Genk striker Mbwana Samatta is also on his radar.

- Carlo Ancelotti said he will wait until January 5 before discussing potential transfer targets with the Everton board and when he does El Desmarque has suggested Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez could be one of the names on his list.

Virgil van Dijk was not included in Liverpool's squad to face Monterrey due to illness, while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were named on the bench.

Liverpool travelled to Qatar with just two fit first-team centre-backs in Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and with the former ruled out Jordan Henderson was selected to partner his fellow England international in defence for Wednesday's semi-final.

Jurgen Klopp picked Divock Origi to spearhead an attack that included Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah, resting Mane and Firmino with an eye on a potential final against Flamengo on Sunday.

James Milner was selected to start at right-back for his 200th Liverpool appearance, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold was on the bench with two goalkeepers - Adrian and Andy Lonergan – Neco Williams and Curtis Jones.

Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain formed the midfield three with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum out injured.

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