Klopp gives positive update on Diogo Jota and Fabinho ahead of Chelsea clash

Jurgen Klopp expects both Diogo Jota and Fabinho to be back when Liverpool take on Chelsea on Thursday, with the pair missing Sunday’s 2-0 win at Sheffield United.

The Reds returned to winning ways as a Curtis Jones strike and a Kean Bryan own goal secured victory at Bramall Lane, with Adrian keeping a clean sheet in Alisson‘s absence.

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.”

Thursday, of course, brings a huge top-four clash with Chelsea at Anfield, and Liverpool should also be buoyed by the availability of Fabinho, who has missed the last four games.

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.

Fabinho has already returned to full training, as Jota and James Milner did earlier in the week, and with further sessions in his legs could be considered for an immediate return at centre-back.

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 30, 2020: Liverpool’s Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp said he expected Alisson to return to the squad for Thursday’s home game against Chelsea.

That would leave only Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip on the treatment table.