Darren Bent thinks Diogo Jota is certain to start in Liverpool’s attack for their clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
Bent was appearing on The Kelly & Wrighty Show, which was broadcast on Optus Sports. Asked who he thought would start up-front for Liverpool, the former England striker said he expects Jota’s excellent recent form to feature in Jurgen Klopp’s thinking.
“I expect Salah to play, I expect Mane to play, and Jota has just thrown his name in the ring,” said Bent.
“He’s their most in-form player, I think he’s second top goalscorer as well, I think he’ll just go with those three.”
Bent says that although Firmino played an important part in Liverpool’s tactical set-up, Jota has made himself the main man.
“Firmino was the glue that pulled Mane and Salah together, but when you look at what Jota has done, he’s made himself one of the main front three,” he said.
“I just feel the goal threat that they carry and the way they play together I can just see those three playing together.”
Jota back in form
Bent makes a good point about Jota’s goalscoring form. After a drop-off where he failed to find the net in seven games, the forward has now scored in each of his last three starts for Liverpool.
The 25-year-old was only on the bench for The Reds as they beat Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday night. That suggests that Jurgen Klopp may have been resting him for Sunday’s Premier League top-of-the-table battle.
It could be argued that the Portugal international’s all-round game hasn’t been quite as sharp as it was prior to his short injury lay-off.
But that doesn’t necessarily matter too much when you’re popping up with important goals.
Making the difference
Top scorer Mohamed Salah is currently going through his own rough patch. That makes Jota’s uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time in-front of goal all the more important.
Sunday’s game is one between two supreme sides with not much to choose between them. All season long City’s Achilles heel has been not having a striker to finish off the bounty of chances they create.
In Jota, Liverpool do have that poacher in their ranks. In a game of fine margins, his ability to nick a goal might just prove to be the difference.