Liverpool relaxed over Diogo Jota’s fitness despite late knock at Atalanta

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Liverpool are not thought to be concerned over the knock Diogo Jota sustained in his hat-trick display at Atalanta on Tuesday, with the Portuguese likely to avoid injury.

Jota brought his goal tally to seven in 10 appearances for the Reds as he struck three times in Bergamo, on the way to a 5-0 victory in the Champions League.

The No. 20 was all smiles after the game as he collected his match ball, but there were concerns over how he exited the pitch on being substituted in the 65th minute.

Hobbling to the nearest touchline and accompanied off by physio Chris Morgan, Jota sparked fears of another injury, with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain already sidelined at present.

Jurgen Klopp was not even questioned on Jota’s problem after the game, with the ambiguity ensuring concerns remained in the aftermath of a big win.

But according to the Press Association’s Carl Markham, the club “believe the fitness of [Jota] is nothing to worry about,” which suggests he will be fit for Sunday’s trip to Man City.

Markham adds that a “proper update,” is likely to arise in Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Friday, but at this stage the outlook is positive.

Jota should, therefore, be in contention to start at the Etihad, with his combination play alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane against Atalanta presenting a case to keep Roberto Firmino out of the side.

BERGAMO, ITALY - Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitute Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Stadio di Bergamo. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

It would be a big call from the manager, with Firmino starting all 14 meetings with City since Klopp took over at Anfield in 2015, scoring five goals and laying on five assists.

But the Brazilian’s questionable performances of late, along with Jota’s undeniable form since joining from Wolves, does make it a worthwhile change to consider.

Speaking after the victory at the Stadio di Bergamo, Klopp insisted that his new forward is not giving him a “headache” when it comes to selection, and dismissed criticism of his long-serving first-choice striker.

“The world is sometimes a really bad place that in the moment when somebody is shining, we speak immediately about another player who played for us, it feels like, 500 games in a row,” he said.

“We would not be in the Champions League even if Bobby Firmino would not be with us, and immediately I have to explain why he is not in the team.”

Either way, Klopp is likely to make changes in Manchester, with Joel Matip a contender at centre-back while Naby Keita and possibly Thiago could come into the midfield.

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