Football: Klopp unsure if Liverpool's Mane will return for Senegal World Cup qualifiers

Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane attending a team training session in September 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is baffled by Senegal manager Aliou Cisse's claim that forward Sadio Mane will be fully fit for their World Cup qualifiers next month, even though Liverpool have ruled him out for up to six weeks.

The 25-year-old is still training indoors after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty earlier this month but he was named in Cisse's squad for their matches against South Africa in mid-November.

"I don't know how he (Cisse) can know. I don't know, so that's how it is," Klopp told a news conference ahead of Liverpool's trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.

"Sadio is still in rehab, still indoors, so that is the situation at the moment. If he is fit earlier, I would be really happy, but nobody knows at this moment, so nothing else to say.

"They have very important games, I think they need one point, so let's hope they qualify. I can imagine they are feeling the pressure a little bit but we cannot change the situation."

Last weekend, Klopp's defensive unit succeeded in thwarting in-form striker Romelu Lukaku, who had found the net in seven consecutive league appearances for Manchester United before the goalless draw at Anfield.

Klopp, however, reckons that striker Harry Kane, who has netted 15 goals for Tottenham and England in his last 12 appearances, can influence the game in a wider variety of ways than Lukaku.

"The difference is that Harry is much more a part of the game when he is not scoring - but I am pretty sure Lukaku can make these steps too," the German added.

"Harry is not only one of the best strikers in Europe, he is one of the best strikers in the world. Everybody knows that, and Dele Alli as well, and (Christian) Eriksen as well. They are in a really good moment as a club."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.