It was a night expected to herald the return of Jota after a two-and-a-half-month layoff, but it was revealed prior to kickoff that the Portuguese missed out due to illness.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp confirmed that Jota had travelled with the squad and was due to be on the bench only to be forced out, but “would think he is ready for Thursday.”
Klopp said the Brazilian “should be closer” and that he expects him to be “ready for the squad at least,” with there being a possibility that he is fit to start.
The presence of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak does give Klopp the option of restoring Fabinho to his midfield, but it remains more likely that the No. 3 stays in his new role for the rest of the season.
Despite Jordan Henderson joining the long-term injury list this month, Liverpool’s situation is improving with the return of Jota and Fabinho along with Milner and Naby Keita, who both came off the bench at Sheffield United.