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Premier League | Gameweek 33
Apr 14, 2024 at 2pm UK

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Crystal Palace

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Liverpool forward ruled out of playing full match against Crystal Palace

:Headline: Liverpool forward ruled out of playing full match against Crystal Palace:
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirms that Diogo Jota is not ready to play the full 90 minutes against Crystal Palace, despite returning from injury against Atalanta.
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled Diogo Jota out of playing the full 90 minutes in Sunday's Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace.

Jota returned to first-team training with the title-chasing Merseysiders earlier this week, and made his comeback to action as a 76th-minute substitute against Atalanta BC in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The Portuguese's first appearance after almost two months out with a knee injury was one of few bright spots on an otherwise dismal night for Liverpool, as they fell to a shock 3-0 home defeat to the Serie A side in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Jota was involved on a number of occasions during his 15-minute cameo and failed to convert a couple of half-chances as Liverpool searched for a route back into the tie.

The striker looked more likely than anyone to find the back of the net on a night to forget for the hosts, though, and his return will come as a welcome boost for Klopp.

Diogo Jota "not ready" to play against Crystal Palace

While it would be a stretch to blame Thursday's chastening defeat on profligacy, a number of Liverpool's recent performances have been characterised by wastefulness in front of goal - most notably last weekend's draw with Manchester United.

The return of Jota could therefore not come at a better time for Liverpool, with the Portugal international boasting comfortably the best shot conversion rate of any of Liverpool's forwards this season.

Darwin Nunez has posted some impressive numbers over the past couple of months, but Jota is generally regarded as Liverpool's most potent finisher, ahead of even Mohamed Salah.

However, Klopp has tempered expectations in the early days of Jota's return, confirming after the Atalanta defeat that the forward is "not ready" to play a full 90 minutes yet.

There is still the possibility that he could start against Crystal Palace this weekend and be taken off at some point in the second half as he looks to build up his match fitness, but Klopp's comments suggest that he will err on the side of caution when it comes to Jota's recovery.

Key players closing in on returns for Liverpool

Liverpool have done remarkably well to remain in the hunt for three trophies throughout a campaign that has seen them severely depleted by significant injuries at various times.

While realistically now they may have to give up hope of a treble, they do appear to be getting some key players back in time for the crucial Premier League title run-in.

In addition to Jota's return to the field on Thursday night, Trent Alexander-Arnold was also named in a matchday squad for the first time in over two months, although he did not make it onto the field.

Alisson Becker is back in training too - something which might be highlighted even more after Caoimhin Kelleher's mistake for Atalanta's opening goal at Anfield, although it should be noted that the Liverpool keeper also made two brilliant saves and has generally performed very well in Alisson's absence.

Stefan Bajcetic was also back on the bench at Anfield, with the Spaniard appearing in the squad for the first time since September having suffered a torrid time with injuries over the past year or so. body check tags ::

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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