Diogo Jota is expected to make his long-awaited return to full training as Liverpool prepare to visit Sheffield United, two-and-a-half months after his last outing.
The Reds head to Bramall Lane for a Premier League clash on the final day of February, looking to respond to a miserable result in the Merseyside derby.
Taking on the league’s bottom-placed club would usually resemble a comfortable afternoon for the champions, but such has been the downturn in form of Jurgen Klopp‘s side it is certainly no formality.
But he will be boosted in the coming days by the return of Jota, who has been sidelined since December’s 1-1 draw with Midtjylland in the Champions League.
Jota picked up a knee injury in that Group D dead-rubber, and has missed the last 17 games in all competitions as Liverpool’s fortunes have plummetted, winning just six of those and losing seven.
The Portuguese has won 10 of his 17 appearances for the Reds since joining Wolves in the summer, with nine goals scored during that time highlighting his importance.
And the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe reports that Jota will be back in squad training from Wednesday, though this could come too soon for an outing against Sheffield United.
Jota’s return is similarly key, particularly in the context of Roberto Firmino‘s drop in form, with the Brazilian scoring just once in his last 14 games and showcasing some woeful finishing in that time.
Klopp is unlikely to rush Jota back, but the 24-year-old’s comeback could not come too soon.