Diogo Jota has been ruled out of Liverpool’s clash with Norwich due to an ankle ligament injury which “could go really quick or the other way around”, according to Jurgen Klopp.
Jota has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, and was replaced by Roberto Firmino at half-time in Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Inter Milan on Wednesday night.
The Portugal international was pictured wearing a protective boot after the game.
“He will not be available this weekend but the extent is still not clear,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday’s visit of Norwich.
“We need further assessment. It’s something with some ligaments in and around the ankle, but not the ligament, some others.
“So, pretty much everything is possible at the moment; that it will go really quick and the other way around unfortunately as well. So we have to wait.
“Everybody saw the picture with him in the boot. It’s a normal procedure, even when you just feel something, they put you in that boot. For the weekend, for sure not.”
The midweek win against Inter was a landmark occasion for James Milner who came off the bench to make the 800th club appearance of his career.
Mohamed Salah, who scored Liverpool’s second at San Siro, could reach a milestone of his own if he scores on Saturday, with the Egyptian one shy of 150 goals for the Reds.
“I’m only seven years here now, the club is so much older and there are so many great players here,” Klopp said.
“This team is one of the better ones in the wonderful history of the club. It is clear that Mo is a massive part of that His numbers speak for themselves, it’s absolutely insane. Obviously, it’s a massive number and hopefully, he can do that tomorrow.”
Klopp: Man City my smallest problem
With Manchester City hosting Tottenham in Saturday’s early-evening kick-off, live on Sky Sports, Liverpool can, temporarily at least, cut the gap on the league leaders to six points.
Klopp said he is not paying attention to what Pep Guardiola’s side are doing, insisting there is only one recipe for success with Liverpool still in the hunt for four trophies this season.
“Out of all the problems I have, the smallest one is Manchester City,” Klopp said.
“There is not a day in the week when I think about that, not a minute in the day that I think about it in fact. We only have to win our football games and then we will see if we come close or not.
“We are still fighting for a Champions League spot – which is incredibly important for the club – so for that, we need to win games. If we want to go further in the cup competitions or win cups, it’s always the same solution, you solve all your problems if you are winning games.
“That’s the only thing we are thinking or talking about. It was always like this and it always will be like this.”
Smith ready for chess game against ‘grandmaster’ Klopp
Norwich head coach Dean Smith accepts he is going up against one of football’s grandmasters when he takes on Klopp – but hopes a few of his own chess tactics could deliver checkmate at Anfield.
The Canaries head to Liverpool on the back of a 4-0 home defeat by leaders Manchester City, which left them in the relegation zone.
Smith knows taking on the top two sides in the country will not define Norwich’s survival battle, but the former West Midlands schools chess champion is not about to resign the prospect of an unlikely positive result.
“Jurgen certainly has got a few more pieces than me at the moment, so there would be an advantage in terms of the quality of players,” said Smith, who masterminded a memorable 7-2 win over Klopp’s side when in charge of Aston Villa in October 2020.
“Our mindset is going to be a really important part of it. We have to try to out-think (Liverpool) where we can.
“I saw them (play in Europe) during the week and it is amazing what Jurgen has done at Liverpool in the time he has been there, it is something like 50 Champions League wins alone now.
“So, yes we are coming up against a grandmaster and I am really looking forward to it.
“We have had some good battles against him before, but obviously I was at a different club at the time, so it would be my first with Norwich.
“We will have two in the space of two weeks (with an FA Cup fifth-round tie to follow on March 2), so we have to come up with some tricks where we can.”
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