Pep Guardiola uses Liverpool FC upset to ground Man City in the title race
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be relying on Diogo Jota to stick to his word as the Reds prepare to embark on a tough run of fixtures over the coming weeks. Wolves and Manchester United will be Liverpool’s next two opponents in the Premier League and it will be important for them to avoid losing both games in order to boost their faint hopes of a top-four finish at the end of the campaign.
Liverpool will be desperate for their attacking players to start firing on all cylinders, with their play in the final third having been dire when Darwin Nunez is not on the pitch in recent weeks. The Reds struggled to take their chances against Crystal Palace at the last time of asking without Nunez leading the line as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury sustained during the win over Newcastle earlier this month.
It is not yet clear when Nunez will be in line to make a return to first-team action, which could see Jota tasked with carrying his side’s attacking burden against former club Wolves on Wednesday night. It will be crucial for the Portuguese forward to keep his word in order to give Liverpool the best chance of claiming all three points after insisting on Monday that he is looking to raise his individual numbers by providing more goals and assists.
“It was just over four months since I played Man City at home, that was my last game, so I had to admit it felt strange,” Jota told Liverpool’s official website when quizzed on what it was like to start against Palace on the weekend after a lengthy absence due to an injury picked up before the World Cup.
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“I was not used to playing Premier League anymore but I felt good during the game, I had a couple of chances in the box and around, I just need to get my certainty back and I think that will come with more minutes and hopefully [I can] help the team with goals and assists.”
Jota has looked relatively sluggish in the weeks since returning from injury thus far but will be looking to step things up if he is given another chance to impress against Wolves on Wednesday night. He is more than capable of bagging the goals for Liverpool when he is at his very best and a return to top form would suit his club down to the ground as they seek rapid improvements in attack over the coming weeks.
Klopp, who previously branded Jota as his ‘perfect signing’ at Liverpool, insisted on the weekend that he was pleased with the forward’s performance against Palace despite the Reds drawing a blank at Selhurst Park, telling reporters: “I would say [his performance was] really, really good. We tried now to build it up slightly but it was a long time.
“Before that he was injured as well, so he came back from international duty for pre-season, he had no pre-season, he was injured, then he played a few games really good and then he was injured again. So far, it’s a really difficult season for him. Absolutely OK, he can play better of course, but that’s how it is, that’s what we have to go through and that’s what we do.”
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