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Is Diogo Jota playing vs. Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals? Injury update for Liverpool star
Liverpool continue their quest for an unprecedented quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League titles when they face Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to have an injury-free squad going into the FA Cup semi-final, but that looks uncertain after the latest update on the fitness of Diogo Jota.
The Portugal forward came off with just an hour played against Benfica in the Champions League semi-final second leg, and he didn’t appear injured. However, Klopp later clarified that Jota took a knock during the game and, while it didn’t initially look serious, Klopp was wary of offering any guarantees.
Jota is therefore facing a race to prove his fitness ahead of the showdown with Pep Guardiola’s side.
We will check on Diogo Jota’s condition for this weekend’s #EmiratesFACup semi-final.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 14, 2022
MORE: Has any football team won the quadruple? History of four-trophy attempts and Liverpool’s best seasons
Is Diogo Jota playing against Man City?
Klopp explained the day after the 3-3 draw with Benfica: “I said last night that Diogo got a knock — that swelled up slightly directly after the game, obviously while I was in the press conference.”
Liverpool fans will be understandably concerned if Jota isn’t available for the match, although the Liverpool manager was relatively upbeat. When asked for a prognosis, he added: “Diogo, good chance he will be alright but we need to have a closer look tomorrow. That’s it.”
It is likely Reds fans will have to wait until matchday to know for certain as medical staff wait to see whether the swelling reduces in time for the game. Other than Jota, Klopp should have his full squad available to him and, having rested several key players in midweek, he will be able to pick a strong line-up.
Would Liverpool miss Jota?
This season, Jota has played 2,938 minutes for Liverpool in all competitions. Of the Reds’ attackers, Mohamed Salah has played the most, with 3,281 minutes, while Sadio Mane has played a comparable amount to Jota (2,994 minutes). Roberto Firmino has played less frequently, with 1,661 minutes, the Brazil international having found his first-choice spot usurped by Jota.
There is a reason the former Wolves man has become an integral part of Klopp’s side. He has 21 goals in all competitions, second only to Salah’s 28 and well clear of Mane on 16. At 0.64 goals per 90 minutes, he is behind only Salah (0.77) among Liverpool players with at least 10 goals this season. However, Salah is also Liverpool’s penalty taker; remove those, and his tally drops to 22 goals, at 0.6 per 90 minutes.
Jota has three assists to his name, one fewer than Firmino and eight down on Salah, but Jota has also been a good fit into Klopp’s pressing system. He makes a nuisance of himself and harries the backlines of opponents well. He’s also a man for the big occasion, with goals in each of Liverpool’s most recent three league games against Arsenal, Watford and Manchester City. If fit for Saturday, he could be a real menace to Guardiola’s men again.
Diogo Jota’s last five away goals in the Premier League for Liverpool:
◉ vs. Man Utd
◉ vs. Everton
◉ vs. Tottenham
◉ vs. Arsenal
◉ vs. Man City
The man for the big occasion. 💪 pic.twitter.com/Nv9NtkzZn0
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 10, 2022