Featured

Jurgen Klopp refuses to pick between Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino

Jurgen Klopp has refused to label Diogo Jota as his first-choice striker ahead of Roberto Firmino.

Jota has started the opening pair of Premier League games this season, scoring in both.

His goals contributed to a 3-0 win over Norwich last weekend and a 2-0 win over Burnley yesterday.

Meanwhile, Firmino came off the bench in both games, grabbing a goal of his own at Carrow Road.

Jota’s form, and Firmino’s form of last season, has led many to believe that the Portuguese can now be considered Liverpool’s first-choice striker.

However, Klopp has denied this. He has claimed that the reason for Firmino’s absence from the start so far this season is down to fitness.

The Brazilian was late back to pre-season as he was playing for his country at the Copa America.

7 Greatest Football Substitutions Of All Time

What was said

Speaking to Stadium Astro in a post-match interview following the Burnley game, Klopp was asked whether Jota was his new No 9 and whether he thought that having two great players battling it out for one position was a good problem.

Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Here is how the boss replied: “It’s no problem at all.

“Bobby didn’t train on two days this week, that’s why it was not even a decision to make about who would start.

“We are so early in the season. In these first 2-3 weeks before the international break, everyone is asking ‘why isn’t he playing, why isn’t he playing?’.

“My job is to make them all ready for the rest of the season, not for this specific game. We have to think about all of the other games that are coming up.

“We need all the players. When they are all fit and in good shape, we have no problems.

“These decisions, I love. All the rest is a little bit tricky.”

Klopp likely to rotate between Jota and Firmino

We know that Jurgen Klopp doesn’t always pick his team based on form. Especially at this early stage of the season, it is about keeping players fresh for the business end.

So, we expect to see lots of rotation in the front line. This is particularly the case when we start seeing the Reds playing two games a week.

Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

So, Jota could score a hattrick on the weekend but still not start in midweek, just to keep him fit.

The question about Jota or Firmino really only comes to play when Liverpool are playing the big games.

Next weekend, for example, we play Chelsea. Both players will probably be fit and ready, so Klopp will base his decision on which player he believes will give his side the best chance of winning.

Considering Jota has scored two in two, then we think it will be him.

However, the rotation is not restricted to these two. Sadio Mane and Mo Salah will also be swapped in and out.

So, expect to see Jota off the left with Firmino central every now and then.

As Klopp said, it is far from a problem. It would be a bigger issue if we had neither player.

However, expect the battle to heat up once the race for trophies does.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know