Liverpool manager JurgenKlopp has hinted that star forward Sadio Mane could be rested for the Villa game at home in the Premier League this weekend. The Reds play hosts to Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon hoping to take a giant step towards securing a place in the top four.
The Reds already lost 3-1 in the first leg away from homeon Tuesday night and will need at least a 2-0 victory in their home leg next week Wednesday. The winner of the Real Madrid v Liverpool tie will face the winner of the FC Porto v Chelsea tie in the semis.
As things stand, the league represents the best option for Liverpool to secure Champions League football next season and only a win at home to Villa will aid them in that bid. Liverpool are seventh on the league table and three points off West Ham United in the fourth and final Champions League spot.
The Reds can move into fourth place with victory over Villa on Saturday afternoon till fellow Champions League chasers like West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea play later this weekend. Ahead of the Villa game, Liverpool manager Kloppgave Mane a vote of confidence during his pre-match press conference on Friday. According to him, the Senegalese international might need a breather like other players do from time to time to suggest that the former Southampton and Red Bull Salzburg attacker could start the Villa game on the bench.
Mane is under pressure from the media after an underwhelming few months in front of goal. The Senegalese international has scored just three goals in his last 23 matches in the Premier League. Mane has blanked in seven of his last eight matches in all competitions.