Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota for their makeup match against Leeds United at Anfield later this evening.
Both players who featured in last week’s Champions League victory over Inter Milan were absent for Liverpool’s comeback win over Norwich City, the weekend past — the final score 3-1.
"Jota and Firmino, having survived any injuries themselves in January when Salah and Mane were away, now facing a race against time to be fit for Wembley.Having suffered ankle and muscle injuries against Inter Milan last week respectively, the duo sat out the Reds’ weekend victory over Norwich City and, after missing training on Monday, look set to be absent for the midweek clash with Leeds United too. (Via: liverpoolecho.co.uk)"
It was presumed at the time of their absence that it was nothing serious to worry about and the pair of forwards will be rested to recover, following an ankle injury to Jota and a muscle problem for Firmino. However, both were missing from training on Monday and Tuesday, which was later confirmed by the manager, Jurgen Klopp.
Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool’s missing forwards:
"No chance for either of them (to play against Leeds). Sunday, we will see. It will be easier for me to say no now but they are pushing. They are not on the pitch for training which is not a good sign. We’ll make a decision in the week. (Via: theathletic.com)"
Still missing from full outdoor training as stated by the man in charge, it is quite worrying as the Reds approach an important weekend where they have a Carabao Cup Final against Chelsea — it is Klopp’s second attempt at it and he will want all his assets available for selection.
But first up it’s Leeds United for Liverpool
With a chance to go three points closer to their Premier League title rivals, Manchester City, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota are massive misses for this one as well. As we’ve come to witness and what Liverpool and Man City have come accustomed to is: playing every league game like it is a cup final.
That’s how they’ve been treating the top flight to date and their two-way title fight for the past few seasons. Will the Reds be able to manage in front of a noisy Anfield crowd without the pair of strikers? Yes, they should be able to, especially cause they are at Anfield.
It is also important to remember that all of Liverpool’s front three got on the scoresheet on Saturday past. Sadio Mane scored the opener acrobatically; Alisson set Mohamed Salah up for the go-ahead goal; and then Luis Diaz finished the job with the third goal of the game but the first in his Reds career.
Added to Liverpool’s luck: if we go by recent results between the two and look at both clubs’ forms over the last five, Leeds can consider themselves lucky if they walk away with a point or more. Although, one should never count Raphinha out and always rely on him to make his presence felt — especially against a club rumoured to be after his signature in the summer.
Over the last five games, Liverpool and Leeds have…
Klopp’s men have been relentless to deal with over their previous five games; they have won all of them, scoring a whopping 12 goals while only conceding a measly two and keeping three clean sheets in the process.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men, on the other hand, have only managed one win from their last five EPL outings and have been winless in their last four games. They travel to a place where it’s been hard to break down to the back line and almost impossible to stop the front line from scoring.
If we go back to the last three meetings between these two extremely attacking sides, the Whites have only been able to collect one point from this fixture; the Reds have scored seven and have conceded four.
Barring any late, late injury concerns, Liverpool should have this one in the bag. They should close the gap between them and City to three points, and we should be strapping up for one hell of a Premier League title run!