Diogo Jota could feature for Liverpool in Monday’s Merseyside derby, with Jurgen Klopp hoping to welcome him back against Everton after suffering another major injury blow through Thiago Alcantara.
Liverpool head into Monday’s Merseyside derby clash with Everton aiming to get back to winning ways.
The Reds have claimed just one victory in 2023, having gone down to a crushing 3-0 defeat away to Wolves last Saturday. Their week went from bad to worse when it emerged that Thiago Alcantara had been ruled out for a month with a hip injury.
But Jurgen Klopp could have some good news ahead of the match, as Liverpool are assessing the fitness of Diogo Jota. The Portuguese forward, 26, has been out since mid-October with a serious calf injury but is now back in training. Jota’s absence has been one of the many reasons behind the Reds’ wretched season so far, one which the players selected to face Everton at Anfield will be keen to start turning around.
Although the visitors’ lack of pace could allow for James Milner to fit in comfortably, Trent Alexander-Arnold ‘s creativity is a useful tool against any side who sit deep, meaning he should keep his place at right-back despite a string of poor defensive performances. The same goes for rearguard team-mates Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson, who’ll likely start in front of Alisson Becker.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson will need to put in a big performance, while Stefan Bajcetic is set to make his first Merseyside derby appearance. With Thiago out, Naby Keita will likely be handed the opportunity to impress after Mirror Football exclusively reported that AC Milan were interested in signing him on a free transfer when his contract expires in the summer.
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Up front, the pressure is on Mohamed Salah to deliver as the only established attacker definitely at Klopp’s disposal. The German hopes that Jota will be in contention to feature but it’s still expected that Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, who’s yet to score or register an assist in six games for Liverpool, will complete the starting trident in attack.
Jota’s return by no means signals the end of the Reds’ injury woes. Liverpool remain without a host of stars whom Klopp gave an update on in his pre-match press conference. “The players are back in training but in different stages,” the Reds boss explained.
“Diogo is the closest he trains now normally for two days and we have three more days of training for him and he’s in contention for the squad I think. Bobby [Firmino], the next one, I don’t know. We have to see how that looks with training intensity and make a decision there. [Virgil van Dijk], I don’t think he’s that close yet. Arthur [Melo] is similar to Bobby I would say.”
Liverpool predicted line-up vs Everton (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Bajcetic, Keita; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.