Sunday, June 13, 2021

Jota has small chance of returning for Liverpool finale, clear for Portugal´s Euros campaign

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 May 2021

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Diogo Jota has a small chance of returning from a foot injury to feature in Liverpool’s final game of the season, meaning he should be available for Portugal’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Jota had been expected to miss both of Liverpool’s two remaining fixtures against Burnley and Crystal Palace because of an issue sustained in the 4-2 win at Manchester United last Thursday.

However, the club have since done additional scans on the injury, which have given Liverpool hope he could be available in a fixture that may well decide if they are playing Champions League football next season.

Liverpool narrowed the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea to a point courtesy of their dramatic 2-1 win at relegated West Brom on Sunday, secured through goalkeeper Alisson’s remarkable last-minute header.

“Diogo, the swelling went down, we did another picture and it looked better than in the first scan. With the CT [scan] you could see it better,” manager Jurgen Klopp told a media conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Turf Moor. 

“It’s a tiny, tiny little chance for the weekend. It depends on how he improves now, we have to see that.

“It’s good news obviously for Portugal and for Diogo himself with the Euros as they are not in danger at all. If it’s good enough for us, we will see.”

Having initially made an excellent start to his Liverpool career following a transfer from Wolves reportedly worth up to £45million, Jota has seen his debut season at Anfield disrupted by injuries.

A knee problem suffered in early December sidelined him for close to three months, but his value to the Reds when he has been on the field is clear.

He has nine goals for Liverpool in 18 Premier League appearances, 12 of which have been starts, outperforming an xG of 6.4 from 46 shots.

That cutting edge could be telling against Palace if Liverpool are still in a position to clinch fourth place and Champions League football going into the final game of the season.

Meanwhile, James Milner is back in training having missed the games with Southampton, United and West Brom, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to return from an illness.

Naby Keita is unavailable, however, with Klopp adding: “Millie will train today but is that then enough for being involved tomorrow? I will see.

“Ox was ill, [so] yes, Ox is back. Naby wasn’t part of team training yet so that will not be enough until tomorrow for sure. Ox was in team training so he is back.”

Defender Ozan Kabak, a January loan signing from Schalke, is out for the remainder of the season and may have played his last Liverpool game.

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