London (AFP) – Liverpool pair Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota have been ruled out of Saturday’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City.
Reds keeper Alisson has been struggling with an abdominal problem throughout pre-season, while Portugal forward Jota is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Thursday that both players would be missing from the traditional curtain-raiser to the English top-flight season at the King Power Stadium.
Alisson is the closest to being available having resumed training, but the Brazilian is targeting the opening Premier League game against Fulham on August 6.
Jota faces a longer spell on the sidelines and was not with the squad at their training camp in Austria this week.
“Ali trained today more than the day before, so he will definitely be available for Fulham, but not for the weekend,” Klopp said.
“Diogo is not here with us so how could he play a football game? It will take a while, unfortunately.”
Due to the early start to the campaign this year, Klopp admits he has not had enough time in pre-season to do all the work he would have liked.
Because of that, Liverpool will play another friendly against Strasbourg after the Community Shield.
The FA Cup and League Cup holders are also due to arrange another warm-up fixture even after the top-flight campaign starts at Fulham.
“We have to extend our pre-season, if you like, into the season,” Klopp said.
“We play on Saturday against City and we play a pre-season friendly on Sunday against Strasbourg. Then Fulham and the next day we play another game.”
Despite the tricky preparations for a season that will also feature a winter break for the World Cup in Qatar, Klopp is hoping his side can hit the ground running this weekend against Premier League champions City.
City pipped Liverpool to the title by just one point on the final day of last season.
“It’s very important. We have played this ‘final’ a couple of times and it would be nice if we could win it,” Klopp said.
“It’s the last domestic cup competition we didn’t win yet, so we will give it a try.”
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