Fantasy mangers take note: Klopp explains Sadio Mane striker theory

Could Sadio Mane about to be used more as a central striker and become a very valuable asset to plenty of Fantasy manager’s teams?

Mane in the middle

With Fantasy managers trying to find marginal gains wherever they can, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has opened up the possibility of seeing one of his high-priced midfielders played in a central striking role.

The FA Cup 3rd round tie between Liverpool and Aston Villa’s youth side, the West Midlands club needing to field an inexperienced squad due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the senior team, the Senegalese winger was played in a central striking position with Takumi Minamino and Mohamed Salah either side.

Klopp explained why he decided this and open up the door to possible further chances for Mane in the middle in the future.

“Taki played…We prepared for the Aston Villa first team and we wanted Sadio much more keeping the centre-halves together, being a threat in behind the last line and using Taki to defend offensively between the lines,” he said.

Fantasy mangers take note: Klopp explains Sadio Mane striker theory

BERGAMO, ITALY – NOVEMBER 03: Diogo Jota of Liverpool FC celebrates his second goal with his team-mate Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at Gewiss Stadium on November 03, 2020 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

“It was slightly on the left side, that’s all. But obviously today they had to change. Sadio can play that position but Taki can play the other position as well.

“There is no big change for him, he’s just an offensive player and can move about and is comfortable in areas.”

Although Roberto Firmino has turned his form this season and scored a number of goals, Liverpool have struggled in the league to put away matches and have now failed to win their last 3 league matches. Could the Mane experiment be one to try in the Premier League?

Thiago fully recovered

Good news for Jurgen Klopp was the return of Thiago Alcantara. The Spanish midfielder has faced several problems this season including injury and Covid-19 isolation. However it now appears that he is back to full fitness of ready to help contribute with Liverpool’s title push this campaign.

Klopp decided to give him 45 minutes and his introduction was a catalyst for a scoring glut in the second half.

Fantasy mangers take note: Klopp explains Sadio Mane striker theory

Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara looks to play a pass during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 20, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“Hendo and Thiago, it was clear before the game that we do it like this for 45 and 45,” Klopp said. “There is no [injury] problem and no, we had no reservations.

“We had our test results and they came back yesterday, so everyone was negative and what they did was right with their Under-23s. I think they got tested and got the results at 10 o’clock when we were in the car park at the airport and so everything is fine.”

Whoever the German coach decides to field in his next match he needs to get it right. Manchester United could be 3 points ahead of them by the time the pair face each other next weekend and Liverpool will be in desperate need to beat their northwest rivals  in their chase for a second successive title.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
2 Manchester United FC 16 9 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
5 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
6 Southampton FC 17 7 29
7 Everton FC 16 6 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17 -6 22
14 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 16 -8 19
16 Burnley FC 15 -11 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 17 -21 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

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