Can the return of Diogo Jota inspire Liverpool to salvage something from this season? There hasn’t been much for Liverpool fans to get excited about recently. The defense of their Premier League title lies in tatters after a dreadful run of league form. However, there’s still plenty to play for. The recent victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers was a massive boost in their pursuit for a top-four spot and should that fail, then Liverpool can still win the Champions League to book their place amongst Europe’s elite next season.
The Reds are behind only Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City in the 2021 UEFA Champions League betting, and if Jürgen Klopp’s men can begin to build some momentum from their recent victories over RB Leipzig and Wolves, then there’s no doubt that they could prove a dangerous opponent for any of the remaining sides in Europe’s premier competition. Can the return of Diogo Jota inspire Liverpool to salvage something from this season?
Of course, the return of Diogo Jota from injury has helped spring a bit of life into Liverpool’s front three, who looked lost as the Reds fell to an unprecedented six straight defeats at Anfield.
After a fantastic start to his Liverpool career, the Portuguese international was sidelined for the entirety of the Reds’ two-month slump in form. However, with the 24-year-old now back to full fitness, there are early signs that he can help Liverpool start firing on all cylinders again.
In the 2-0 second-leg victory over Leipzig, Jota set up Mohamed Salah’s opener and he bagged his sixth Premier League goal of the season in Liverpool’s narrow 1-0 win away to Wolves on Monday night.
It’s the return to the side that he, Klopp and the Liverpool fans would have hoped for. Jota has hit the ground running since being reinstated to the starting XI, perhaps helped somewhat by the injury to Roberto Firmino. But now the Brazilian is going to have to work harder than ever to earn his starting spot back.
Deployed against Wolves as the central spearhead of Liverpool’s attack, Jota cut a confident figure. He was largely isolated for much of the first half, but that was before Sadio Mané played him in and he slotted the ball past his former teammate and Portuguese counterpart Rui Patrício.
In the second half, Jota was able to do a lot more. He wasn’t afraid to take on Wolves’ defence and his ability to keep the ball in Liverpool’s attacking quarters meant that the inexperienced Nathaniel Phillips and Ozan Kabak were able to relax a tad more – something they haven’t been able to do in recent weeks.
Liverpool must now focus on salvaging what they can from the remainder of this season. They need to build on these successive victories, and should Jota stay fit, then he will be a massive influence for the Reds between now and the 2020-21 campaign’s conclusion in May.
What Liverpool must not do is slip back into a poor run of results, like they did they after the two wins on the spin against West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur back in January. The return of Fabinho will also help make Liverpool more solid in midfield and give attacking freedom to Thiago Alcântara, which we are yet to really see yet.