LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 14, 2024: Liverpool's substitute Diogo Jota before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Crystal Palace won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Diogo Jota was left out of Liverpool starting XI vs. Atalanta

Diogo Jota was a surprise omission from Liverpool’s starting lineup for the Europa League decider at Atalanta, with Luis Diaz starting over the No. 20.

In the buildup to Thursday night’s quarter-final second leg, Jota had been widely expected to make his first start in two months.

But when the teamsheet was released just over an hour before kickoff in Bergamo, the Portuguese was a notable absentee from Jurgen Klopp‘s XI.

READ: Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Atalanta: Trent and Gakpo start

Diaz kept his place on the left flank with Cody Gakpo starting up front, while Jota was named on the bench alongside Darwin Nunez.

According to TNT Sports, in their pre-match coverage, it came due to the 27-year-old picking up a knock during preparations.

Jota’s issue was clearly not serious enough to rule him out entirely, and he is likely to come off the bench as Liverpool look to overturn a 3-0 deficit from the home leg.

The forward missed seven-and-a-half weeks prior to his return due to a knee injury, with various issues limiting him to just 18 starts this term.

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Mohamed Salah is the third name in Klopp’s forward line, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones providing support from midfield.

Alexis Mac Allister will start in the No. 6 role, operating in front of a back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.

Alisson makes his second start since returning from a hamstring injury, while the likes of Harvey Elliott, Ryan Gravenberch and Jayden Danns are also on the bench alongside Jota and Nunez.

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