Klopp told Jota deserves to start at Man City amid Firmino struggles

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch believes Diogo Jota ‘warrants’ a start at Manchester City as Roberto Firmino’s struggles in front of goal continue.

The Brazilian has hit just one goal in 10 outings in all competitions so far this term with some beginning to question his starting role alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

In contrast, Jota has enjoyed a lightning-quick start to life on Merseyside after the Portuguese joined the Reds from Wolves.

His winner against West Ham on Saturday was his fourth for Liverpool already and saw them go top of the Premier League as Jurgen Klopp’s men bid to defend their title.

Jota has enjoyed a successful start to his Liverpool career

And Klopp has been told he should be considering Jota for a start when the Reds go to the Etihad on Sunday.

“I was of the opinion Firmino was one player who would never be dropped by Jurgen Klopp but, given their respective form, there is now a big decision for Liverpool’s manager,” Crouch wrote in the Daily Mail.

“I have been so impressed by Jota. He took his goal brilliantly against West Ham and looks like he will make a difference every time he is on the pitch.

Firmino has only one goal so far this season

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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.

Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.

But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.

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“He has given them an element of unpredictability and has made his transfer fee look very shrewd business.

“He warrants a start in a game of that magnitude against City but I wouldn’t forget about all Firmino has done. It would be a big, big shout if he didn’t start next Sunday.”

City also enjoyed a victory on Saturday as they saw off struggling Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Both sides are in European action before their heavyweight tussle next weekend, with City hosting Olympiakos and Liverpool travelling to Atalanta.

The Blues would close to within a couple of points of their rivals with victory on Sunday, and would have a game in hand.

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