Merson says nine-goal ace’s return to fitness is a ‘timely boost’ for Liverpool ahead of Newcastle clash – Empire of The Kop

Paul Merson believes the return to fitness of Diogo Jota is a ‘timely boost’ for Liverpool ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle at Anfield.
The Portugal international returned to the match day squad on Tuesday and scored his 50th goal for the club when introduced from the bench during the 2-0 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor.
Eddie Howe’s side have won just one of their last seven games (across all competitions) and will be looking to put things right after they suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest earlier this week.
Merson, however, can’t see anything other than a win for Jurgen Klopp’s side while also suggesting the German tactician will dip into the transfer market in January to strengthen his squad.
“I can’t believe Newcastle United were beaten by Nottingham Forest earlier this week, it was an absolutely shocking result for Eddie Howe’s side,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “It’s all about timings when you play one of the so-called big games and Liverpool are playing the Magpies at the perfect time.
“Forest’s victory against Newcastle wasn’t a smash-and-grab as they were really poor on the night and got well beaten. Newcastle were also poor in the cup game against Chelsea, so things are not going well for them at the moment.
“Liverpool, on the other hand, got a hard-fought 2-0 win against Burnley in a game that marked Diogo Jota’s return to the team. He’s a top player and his presence will come as a timely boost for Jurgen Klopp, who is set to lose Mohamed Salah next month as the 31-year-old prepares to represent Egypt at the AFCON.
“Liverpool are very much in the thick of it in the race for the Premier League title and should win this one at home. Their squad isn’t perfect, but I can’t see Klopp dipping into the market in January despite their injury crisis at the back, with the likes of Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas on the sidelines.
“Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle.”
Newcastle have been hampered by injuries this term which has resulted in them struggling somewhat in recent weeks.
They still have some quality players available for their trip to L4 however, and will be eager to cause an upset.
We played well for the majority of our victory over Burnley and deserved to win by a bigger margin – and would’ve done if it hadn’t have been for some shocking decisions from the officials.
Klopp and Co. signed four new midfielders in the summer so it now looks like our defence needs reinforcing with injuries to Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas and Joel Matip.
We can’t rely on our current options to remain fit for the remainder of the campaign – especially if we’re to compete on all four fronts.
Let’s hope we can get 2024 off to a perfect start with a win against Newcastle!
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