Sport

Alisson, Jota ruled out of Community Shield clash

Liverpool boss Jurgen 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 loss to Manchester United in Bangkok two weeks ago, and has missed their three friendlies since then.

Speaking earlier in the week, Klopp suggested that Alisson still had a chance of taking part against City at the King Power Stadium this weekend, but the Brazil international 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.

“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.

Klopp 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 Adrian 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).

And having lifted the Premier League, Champions League, EFL 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 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.

Abdullahi Sanni

Abdullahi Sanni is a senior news reporter at SHO PEN ONLINE. He is a passionate writer with core interest in Politics, sports and economy reports. Abdullahi who studied mass communication at Kwara state polytechnic in Ilorin, is the 1st of six in his family. He's a multimedia journalist who has traveled far and wide in the course of his journalism career.

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