• The forward was benched for recent games against Chelsea and Brighton.
  • He is expected to start in Liverpool's Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane admits it is tough watching on from sidelines as part of Jurgen Klopp's recent rotation policy but acknowledges the success of the team must come first.

Klopp has sought to keep his attacking options in fresh with Mane named on the bench in recent Premier League clashes against Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion. The Senegal international returned for the fixture between those two games, scoring one and providing another as Liverpool put three past Stoke City on Wednesday 29 November.

Fresh again after not even coming on a substitute in the 5-1 thrashing of Chris Hughton's side, the former Southampton star is expected to start against Spartak Moscow with the Reds to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners.

"Honestly, I won't lie, every player would love to play every single game, every single weekend," Mane said on Tuesday. "That is our job and we are still young. But we have a good team and I am happy to respect the decision of the coach.

"The team is always more important. I don't know the reason [why I did not play]. We have a good team with many good players. We are winning, that is most important."

Liverpool lead Group E having taken nine points from five games and need to avoid defeat on Wednesday [6 December] night to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since the 2009-09 season. Ahead of kick-off, both Spartak and Sevilla can still finish ahead of the Reds and condemn them to the Europa League, with Klopp planning to name a strong side to ensure the worst does not happen – despite the Merseyside derby looming on Sunday.

"We want to go through and we have the chance to it," Klopp said. "I don't have to think about the game on Sunday already."

Sadio Mane
Mane to start on Wednesday against Spartak Moscow. Getty