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Liverpool may miss six first-choice players in Watford clash

Jurgen Klopp could be missing six first-choice players for Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Watford after Diogo Jota was sent home by Portugal Jota joined up the Portugal squad for the international break but did not train with his teammates due to an ongoing muscle complaint that ruled him out of Saturday’s friendly win over Qatar.

Instead, he completed his own recovery programme with Portugal physio Joao Brito but has now been released by manager Fernando Santos after it became clear he would not be fit for the game against Luxembourg. A statement from the Portuguese FA said: “Diogo Jota was dismissed by the National Selector, Fernando Santos, after being considered unavailable by the FPF Health and Performance Unit to face Luxembourg, in a meeting to be held this Tuesday.” The 24-year-old will now be in a race to be fit for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off away to Watford – for which Klopp could be missing up to six regular starters. Trent Alexander-Arnold remains a doubt with the injury which kept him out of Liverpool’s – including the 2-2 draw against Manchester City in which standin right-back James Milner was given the runaround by Phil Foden.

Thiago Alcantara is another player who will be looking to prove his fitness having missed four matches with a calf injury. And Liverpool could also be without Alisson and Fabinho, who are unlikely to come back from Brazil duty until after the early hours of Friday morning. Striker Divock Origi is also a doubt due to illness, while 18-year-old midfielder Harvey Elliott is a long-term absentee after suffering an ankle injury in the 3-0 win over Leeds United last month, having started three of Liverpool’s first four Premier League games.

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