In Sadio Mane's mind, there's no better fixture to return to than a Merseyside derby.

After being ruled out of action due to a positive COVID-19 test at the start of the month, the Liverpool No.10 has now declared himself fit and raring to go. 

Just in time, he believes, as Jürgen Klopp's side travel to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon to face current Premier League leaders Everton.

Inside Training: Full squad back together to prepare for the derby

"You can't expect a better fixture than that!" the forward tells "It's many things. We know how a derby is – Liverpool against Everton is always tough and always a tough game away. 

"I'm excited like my teammates. We can't wait for it and I think all the fans also can't wait for it.

"I'm very happy and excited to go again with my teammates to do our best and try to win games again."

Mane missed the recent defeat at Aston Villa and Senegal's friendly with Morocco as he was required to self-isolate following his diagnosis. 

"It was a really, really tough moment for me – not only me, the situation right now is a bit complicated," Mane reflects. 

"When I was positive I was surprised because I don't know why I got it. I tried to recover as [quickly] as I can and finally I'm back and I'm really happy. 

"I just want to say to everybody to stay safe and keep themselves safe because it's really important. 

"This sickness is something which is incredible – you don't understand until you get it. I don't wish anyone to get it because it's not easy. 

"Hopefully everybody will respect the rules and the structure and be as safe as they can." 

Liverpool's last three trips across Stanley Park to Goodison have ended in goalless draws. 

Indeed, it was Mane's injury-time finish in December 2016 that secured the Reds' last victory at the home of their local rivals.

"I can't remember the game!" Mane smiles. "I know it was a really, really tough game and at the end I scored the winning goal. The three points at the time were really important for us. 

"Hopefully tomorrow I will score and the team will win, which will be massive for us. We need these three points right now.

"It has always been a dream for me to play this kind of game. Honestly, I think every single player would love to play these kind of big games in their career, for sure. 

"Today I'm lucky to be here to play this kind of game. I'm really excited for it and look forward to it."

The 237th Merseyside derby kicks off a period that will see Liverpool play seven games in a little over three weeks.

The Champions League is back on the agenda next week when the 2018-19 winners begin their Group D campaign away at AFC Ajax on Wednesday. 

Looking ahead, Mane is confident the team have the experience and quality within the ranks to expertly handle such demands.

He finishes: "I think it is the best time for us and we are also used to it. That's why we are Liverpool. 

"You always dream to play these kind of games every season and to play every three days. 

"For sure, we have great team spirit and the boys are very, very special – which is incredible. We are lucky to have this kind of squad.

"This is just the best time and we are looking forward to it."