Liverpool forward Diogo Jota is expected to miss Sunday’s Premier League clash with Fulham as a result of the knee injury he suffered during the Champions League draw with Midtjylland in midweek.
With Liverpool already assured of top spot in the group, Jota played 87 minutes of the game in Demark as part of a rotated Reds side that included a rare start for Divock Origi and only a third first-team appearance for teenage midfielder Leighton Clarkson.
But Jota’s involvement in the match has come at a price and he has failed to overcome a knee problem in time for the trip to Craven Cottage.
Although it was initially thought that Jota might be available if he had a late assessment, Liverpool reporter Paul Joyce has now explained that the Reds are still waiting for the injury to fully ‘settle down’ before medics can even gauge how serious it is.
He will therefore be out of the Fulham game, which should see Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino return to the starting lineup after both appeared as substitutes in Denmark.
But while losing Jota, who has scored nine goals since his £45m summer transfer from Wolves, is a blow, Liverpool should be boosted by the potential returns of starting goalkeeper Alisson Becker and versatile midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Alisson has missed Liverpool’s last three games in all competitions, handing an opportunity to home-grown stopper Caoimhin Kelleher, but returned to training on Friday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t played yet this season because of a knee problem he suffered during a pre-season training camp in Austria, but he has been back in training for the past week, building up his fitness, and could get some minutes against Fulham.
Thiago Alcantara still remains sidelined, however, having not appeared since he was on the receiving end of a reckless challenge from Everton’s Richarlison in the Merseyside derby in mid-October.