Liverpool hopes for Jota as Firmino is ruled out

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Jota and Firmino suffered knocks against Inter in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash on 17 February (AEDT), and subsequently missed Premier League wins over Norwich City and Leeds United.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp conceded that the pair was a doubt for the final before the Leeds game, in which fellow attackers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane netted two goals each.

Assistant coach Pep Ljinders provided another update on the duo on Friday as he offered faint hope that Jota could play some part against Thomas Tuchel's men.

"Bobby [Firmino] we will have to see in the next two days, he's pushing himself really hard, but he will not be available for the final, to reach the squad," Ljinders said.
 
"We hope he will be back really soon because you all see and feel how important he is for our way of playing. [We are] happy that he's pushing himself, hopefully he's soon back.
 
"Jota, there has been so far no reaction on the things he did – the straight-line running, the little ball work he did, so that's a good sign. He isn't ruled out but it will still be a challenge."

The Reds will be hoping Jota can beat the clock to feature, given he could become only the second Liverpool player to score in each of the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the competition in a single season (replays included), after Kenny Dalglish in 1980-1981.

Nevertheless, Klopp's side will be left in capable hands even without Jota, with new boy Luis Diaz, Salah and Mane to call upon in the frontline.

Mane has scored eight goals against Chelsea in all competitions, only netting more in his career in England against Crystal Palace (13), while Salah leads the Premier League scoring charts with 19 this term.

The Senegal international, however, is yet to score a Carabao Cup goal for the Reds in three previous appearances for them in the competition, the most recent of which was against Chelsea in the 2018-2019 third round.


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