With Darwin Nuñez suspended for three games and Roberto Firmino missing Monday’s Premier League match with Crystal Palace for precautionary reasons, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s options in attack could be limited in the coming weeks.
The good news is that Firmino is expected back in training before the end of the week, which could mean he’s ready to line up between Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz on Monday when the Reds take on a winless Manchester United at Old Trafford.
However, options will be thin until Diogo Jota returns and the latest has him likely out until the end of August, with The Liverpool Echo suggesting he could start training then and Goal’s Neil Jones saying Everton on September 3rd is the return target.
It’s a timeline that represents something of a mild setback, as initial reports had set out a mid-August return for training for Jota that might have had the 25-year-old Portuguese back in time to face Bournemouth or Newcastle in the coming weeks.
That would have made him an option for the second two games of the Nuñez suspension. Instead, it appears likely now that both Jota and Nuñez will return to action at the same time—though Jota may need more time then to get up to full match fitness.
The story isn’t much different for Ibrahima Konaté, Joël Matip, and Curtis Jones, all of whom need around two more weeks to recover from their injuries. Thiago Alcantara will take slightly longer, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s timeline is uncertain.