With Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino sidelined for Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Norwich City yesterday, one of the most anticipated topics for Jürgen Klopp’s post-match press conference was an update on their fitness.
“We made a lot of changes - two we had to make, Diogo and Bobby both were not available today. We really don’t know 100 percent,” said Klopp when asked about the changes to the starting XI from Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League win against Inter Milan.
As had been reported over the last two days or so, Klopp again admitted he was optimistic Jota’s ankle ligament damage was more minor than originally feared, and there is hope he could be ready to face Chelsea in next Sunday’s Carabao League Cup Final. The extent of Firmino’s muscle injury is still being assessed, but it seems unlikely he’ll be fit for the final.
“With Diogo, it looks a little bit better than we first thought. With Bobby, we didn’t even know that he had something until he felt it only after the game [in midweek]. We all thought it is a little thing, but it’s a muscle injury and we have to see how long it will take. I don’t know at the moment, but for sure not for the next game, so we have to see.”
Klopp also addressed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence from the lineup against Norwich and admitted that, aside from Jota and Firmino, the rest of the squad is still fit.
“We rested Trent today and the rest pretty much were in the squad or played.”
While it would be a shame for Jota and Firmino to miss out on the League Cup Final, Liverpool should still have strong options for the front three. Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah are now fully up to speed after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations and new signing Luis Díaz is quickly settling in and making an impact.