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Will Liverpool forward play in the Carabao Cup final? Latest updates on ankle knock



Jurgen Klopp has admitted that both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino face a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea with neither taking part in training on Tuesday.

Jota was forced off with an ankle injury against Inter Milan in the Champions League last week, with Firmino also picking up a knock in that game.

Neither were involved in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Norwich in which Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and January signing from Porto Luis Diaz, were all on the scoresheet.

Liverpool play Leeds United at Anfield on Wednesday knowing that a win would close the gap to league leaders Manchester City to just three points.

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Speaking after the win over Norwich, Klopp said: “We made a lot of changes but two we had to make in Diogo and Bobby [Firmino]. Both were not available. We really don’t know 100 per cent (when they will be back).

“With Diogo, it looks a little bit better than we first thought. With Bobby we didn’t even know he had something until he felt it after the game. We all thought it was a little thing but it’s a muscle injury and we have to see how long it will take, I don’t know at the moment.”

Klopp provided further updates on the pair on Monday and Tuesday.

“Yes, it’s too early,” he said on Monday. “I don’t even know if it will be a late decision or not; how I said, it’s too early. I saw them both today, they both look great – but those two always look great.

“We have to see how the specific issues develop but we obviously will try everything.”

The Liverpool boss gave a more downbeat assessment on Tuesday, however, admitting that there is “no chance” that either would feature against Leeds.

“No, for tomorrow, no chance, and then [for] the final we will see. I don’t know in the moment.

“It would be easy to say now ‘no’, but we will see. They are [pushing] but they were not on the pitch for training so that’s not a good sign.

“We have to see what we can do with the boys in the next few days and then we make a decision later in the week.”

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Klopp also confirmed that Trent Alexander-Arnold was only absent against the Canaries because he was rested and the right-back was not injured. Andy Robertson was also given a breather at the weekend with his understudy Kostas Tsimikas stepping in at left-back.

Jota has established himself as Liverpool’s starting striker this season and has been one of the club’s form players, scoring 17 goals in all competitions. Only Salah (with 17) has scored more Premier League goals this season than the Portuguese forward (on 12).

Leeds’ defeat to Manchester United on Sunday laid bare their defensive frailties for all to see and Klopp will be looking for his team to display their well-known attacking acumen on Wednesday night. No team has scored more goals in the Premier League this season than Liverpool’s 64.

It could be another opportunity for Diaz to further familiarise himself with Liverpool’s system if he is required to start against Chelsea at the weekend.

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