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SOCCER

Liverpool pair Alisson and Jota ruled out of Community Shield

Alisson and Diogo Jota will play no part in Liverpool’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

Update:
UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA - JULY 28: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Alisson Becker and Fabinho of Liverpool during the Liverpool pre-season training camp on July 28, 2022 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Andrew PowellGetty

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Alisson and Diogo Jota will not be available for Saturday’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City, but the goalkeeper should be fit for the start of the new Premier League season.

Alisson sustained an abdominal injury in Liverpool’s opening pre-season outing, a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in Bangkok two weeks ago, and has missed their three friendlies since then. Speaking earlier in the week, Klopp suggested that the Brazilian keeper still had a chance of taking part against City at the King Power Stadium this weekend, but he has now officially been ruled out. On a more positive note, however, Klopp revealed he expects his first-choice keeper – who started 36 of Liverpool’s 38 league matches last season – to be fit in time for next week’s Premier League opener at Fulham.

Klopp talking with Diogo Jota of Liverpool during an open training session at Rajamangala National Stadium on July 11, 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.
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Klopp talking with Diogo Jota of Liverpool during an open training session at Rajamangala National Stadium on July 11, 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.Andrew PowellGetty

Jota laid low

“Alisson trained today more today than the day before and will definitely be available for Fulham, but not for the weekend,” Klopp said at his pre-match news conference on Thursday. The coach also announced that forward Jota is still not available, having yet to feature for the Reds this pre-season after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury, adding it “will take a while” before the Portugal international will be considered for selection again.

With Caoimhin Kelleher also unavailable, Liverpool are likely to go with third-choice keeper Adrián in goal this weekend in a curtain-raising showdown between last season’s Premier League and FA Cup winners. Including occasions when the trophy was shared, Liverpool have won the Community Shield 15 times, a tally bettered only by Manchester United (21) and Arsenal (16).

Charity Shield to complete the set

And having lifted the Premier League, Champions League, EFL Carabao Cup, FA Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup across his seven years at Anfield, Klopp is motivated to add a new trophy to his collection. “It’s a very important game. It’s the last domestic cup competition we haven’t won yet, so we’ll give it a try,” the German coach said. “It’s a very important game, but we still have to prepare for a whole season. I can’t ignore the fact that after the game is a season – we will have to extend our pre-season into the season.”

Saturday’s match will be Liverpool’s first competitive outing since losing May’s Champions League final to Real Madrid, but Klopp insists that defeat was soon out of his system. “It took me a day [to get over it] and then we had the parade,” he said. “We knew it was a close game and we were unlucky in moments but it’s sport and we accept the rules. We played in a high level, consistent and were deserved winners in the games we won. We have to do it again this season.”

Liverpool lost on penalties to City in their only previous Community Shield encounter in 2019, with the game finishing 1-1 in normal time, and also lost in a shoot-out to Arsenal a year later.

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