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Liverpool’s Alisson and Jota face spell on sidelines

Liverpool are set to be without goalkeeper Alisson Becker and forward Diogo Jota for a spell after both picked up injuries during a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Wednesday.

Portugal international Jota, 26, was forced off in the 54th minute at the Etihad Stadium while Brazil’s Alisson, 31, appeared to sustain a hamstring problem late in Saturday’s match but managed to complete the game.

“Both are out,” Klopp said ahead of the Europa League visit of LASK on Thursday. “Ali is a bit lesser, so we have to see. Not day by day — he will not play tomorrow, not on Sunday, probably not the week after. Then it should be kind of OK.

“Diogo will take a little bit longer. We don’t know exactly how long, but it’s a bit more severe. We have to see.

“Alisson is not as bad (as we thought), but still bad enough.”

After facing the Austrians, Liverpool have three Premier League games in six days at home to Fulham and then away to Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.

Alisson is expected to return by the time Manchester United visit Anfield on December 17.

The Reds are just two points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and look set to challenge for the title once more after a disappointing slump in form last season.

The pressure will be on stand-in ‘keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to deputise for Alisson. 

Kelleher has made only five appearances this season, including three in the Europa League, and last played back-to-back matches in January 2022.

“Now he gets an opportunity that he deserves,” said Klopp. “He would have played tomorrow night anyway, that’s clear, but now he will have a few more games and hopefully he can show his full potential.”

Liverpool, who lost 3-2 in Toulouse earlier this month, will secure top spot in Group E with one game to go if they beat LASK and the Ligue 1 side do not secure a win at home to Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise.

“Toulouse was maybe a one-off performance-wise,” said Klopp. “It was around Luton (a 1-1 draw) which was not too great either — but this was in a very short period of time.

“Besides that, the boys usually perform and that’s what we should concentrate on.

“We want to win tomorrow night and we want to win in Belgium as well but if we don’t win tomorrow night the game in Belgium, in a super intense period, will be tough so it’s all about performing tomorrow night and really going for it, that’s the idea.”

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