Diogo Jota: Liverpool handed surprise boost as injury less severe than first feared

The Portuguese could now feature in Liverpool’s final Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace

Diogo Jota injured his foot against Manchester United
Diogo Jota injured his foot against Manchester United

Liverpool have been handed a surprise boost by the news that Diogo Jota’s injury is less severe than initially feared.

Jota had been ruled out for the rest of the season but the Portuguese is now a possibility for the final match, against Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday, after his swelling reduced and a scan revealed his foot was recovering well.

“The swelling went down and it looked better than first scan,” manager Jurgen Klopp said of Jota, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Burnley on Wednesday evening. “So it's a tiny chance for the weekend, but it depends how it improves now. But good news for Portugal and Diogo for the Euros. We will see if it’s good enough for us.”

Liverpool are fifth in the Premier League table, one point behind Chelsea and three behind Leicester, but with their rivals playing against one another on Tuesday evening, Klopp’s side have the opportunity and sneak into the top four to qualify for the Champions League next season.

“I don’t want to speak about it,” Klopp said of finishing in the top four. “It’s very important, you saw that [in the reaction of the players to beating West Brom]. We can speak about what it means if we do it. We play Burnley next. I don’t like these talks that we’ve made it already. It’s disrespectful. Sunday is a final for us – if we get a result on Wednesday.”

Liverpool’s last-gasp victory over West Brom came courtesy of goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s header after he was sent forwards with the scores level at 1-1.

“I’ve never watched a goal back as much as this in the dressing room after it,” Klopp said. “But we are not even close to our goal because we know how high the obstacles are in front of us.

“In that moment no one thought about the next two games. In football, if you have some downs, you are influenced by it so if you have a high you should be too. It hasn’t made the job easier but it changed the mindset. It kept us in the race, it was a very special moment.”

Klopp revealed Jamies Milner is back in full training and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has recovered from illness, but Naby Keita remains unavailable.

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