Liverpool head into Wednesday evening’s meeting against Real Madrid aiming to avenge their UEFA Champions League final defeat of 2018.
Whilst not quite the same stage of the competition with two only meeting at the quarter-finals this time around, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds could deal a big dent in Los Blancos’ season with a victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The best chance they will have of doing that is by including the electric Diogo Jota from the start instead of Roberto Firmino.
Once labelled as a “monster” by Liverpool’s Assistant Coach Pep Lijnders, the Portuguese has been in electric form recently.
The 24-year-old netted three goals in just two matches over the international break for his country and continued that form upon his return to Merseyside by scoring twice in the 3-0 victory against Arsenal.
It all means that Jota has now scored 18 goals for both club and country since the start of September.
This is a huge contrast to the form of Firmino who has found himself on the scoresheet on just seven occasions for the Reds this season.
Jota’s European form is also vastly superior to that of the former Hoffenheim man.
The 24-year-old has netted 11 goals in 23 European appearances for FC Porto, Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Reds which includes three hat-tricks against the likes of Atalanta, Besiktas and Espanyol.
Whilst Firmino betters that with 15 career strikes in the UEFA Champions League alone, he has scored just three times in his previous 24 appearances in the competition – statistics that will not strike any fear at all into Real Madrid.
With Zinedine Zidane’s men reportedly missing captain Sergio Ramos through injury, Wednesday’s clash is the perfect opportunity for the £36m-rated beast to extend his great European record and his stunning recent form.
Jurgen Klopp simply has to play him from the start at the Bernabeu – a move which could see Liverpool avenge their gutting 2018 final defeat.