LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 5, 2023: Liverpool's substitute Diogo Jota before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 7-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Diogo Jota doubt emerges as Liverpool duo miss pre-Spurs training

Though Jurgen Klopp told reporters Diogo Jota “should be alright” for Liverpool vs. Tottenham, the No. 20 was not part of training on Friday.

“Diogo got a knock in his back, but should be alright,” Klopp said on Friday morning. “We will see how that develops.”

With the forward receiving a forceful challenge from West Ham right-back Vladimir Coufal in midweek, it was no surprise that the manager had his reservations.

And despite Klopp taking an optimistic view in his pre-match press conference, Jota was not involved in Liverpool’s training session later in the day.

He was one of seven senior players absent, with Thiago and Nat Phillips also not present along with the injured Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino, Stefan Bajcetic and Calvin Ramsay.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas (L) and Thiago Alcântara (R) arrive before the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It remains to be seen whether Jota and Thiago will be unavailable against Tottenham on Sunday, however, with a chance they return to training on Saturday.

The pair may have been following individual programmes – as players with regular injury issues – which has been the case with Ibrahima Konate in recent weeks.

Konate was back with the squad on Friday having been rested for the trip to West Ham, as part of a 26-man group that included, again, Luis Diaz.

Liverpool are gradually building up the minutes for their returning No. 23, who came off the bench for the final 10 minutes against both Leeds and Nottingham Forest before half an hour against the Hammers.

He is unlikely be considered for a start on Sunday even if Jota is absent, with Darwin Nunez a more realistic stand-in.

If the Portuguese is able to prove his fitness, though, there is every chance he makes his eighth consecutive start – having shown the “ticket” into Klopp’s side.

“The ticket into this team will always be the readiness to defend and to counter-press and I liked a lot of that what I saw,” the manager said on Friday.

“And if you say that you have to give the credit for it as well. So you can buy the ticket again, if you want.”

Ben Doak remains part of first-team training in a major show of faith in the 17-year-old, despite the availability of Nunez, Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.

Liverpool squad in training on Friday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 14, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Nunez during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Pitaluga, Davies, Ojrzynski

Defenders: Van Dijk, Konate, Matip, Gomez, Williams, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas

Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Elliott, Arthur, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Forwards: Salah, Gakpo, Nunez, Diaz, Carvalho, Doak