Liverpool may have won the 228th Merseyside derby on Saturday, but the injury to Sadio Mane could well deliver a major blow to the Reds’ hopes of a top-four spot.
The striker, who set Jurgen Klopp’s side on their way with an eighth-minute opener at Anfield, went off injured in the second half.
The club are set to find out the extend of Mane’s problems today.
But however long the Senegal star will be out for, it will be of serious concern to Klopp.
The German boss all but admitted over the weekend that Mane is pretty much irreplaceable.
And the statistics bore that out.
Of the eight fixtures Mane has missed across all competitions this season, Liverpool failed to win seven of them.
The sole success came against League Two Plymouth Argyle.
In contrast, Liverpool have won all five games where Roberto Firmino has been absent.
Similarly, when Philippe Coutinho was out for the bulk of the autumn, Klopp’s men still picked up four wins and two draws. They would have gone unbeaten for the Brazilian’s entire absence too, but for that bonkers 4-3 collapse at Bournemouth.
So it’s clear that Klopp can adapt without Firmino or Coutinho, but without Mane his side really struggle.
And while our traders make Liverpool pretty assured of a top-four finish at 1/5, the Merseyside outfit shouldn’t count their chickens just yet.
We’ll get our first indication of how Klopp will deal without Mane this Wednesday, when Bournemouth head to Anfield.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing