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Talking Tactics

Jota return can raise Liverpool's tempo at Wolves

Adrian Clarke 14 Mar 2021
Diogo Jota

Adrian Clarke says Reds striker will increase his side's threat in attack when they face former club

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points in Matchweek 28.

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Diogo Jota's return for Liverpool could be bad timing for his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 24-year-old has looked increasingly sharp since recovering from a knee problem that kept him out of action for two-and-a-half months.

He almost scored from a superb instinctive volley against Fulham last weekend on his first Premier League start since November.

Against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League, Jota created the opener and is likely to feature prominently at Molineux on Monday.

Much-needed boost

Jota has freshened up Liverpool's attack at a time when they desperately needed it.

Jurgen Klopp's front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane has looked unusually flat in recent weeks.

Between them they have scored only six Premier League goals since the start of 2021, with Mane and Firmino claiming one apiece.

Jota's ability to play anywhere across the forward line provides Klopp with better tactical variety.

Rapid rate

While Jota is not widely regarded as a prolific goalscorer, he has hit the ground running at Liverpool, scoring five times in six starts.

When you combine his Premier League and UEFA Champions League appearances, he has netted nine goals in 11 starts, a rate of one strike every 116.8 minutes.

The only two players with at least five goals to their names to have scored at a faster rate than Jota is Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale. and Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho.

Best PL mins/goal rate
2020/21 Mins/goal Goals
Gareth Bale 111.8 5
Kelechi Iheanacho 120.7 6
Diogo Jota 123.8 5
Mohamed Salah 132.6 17
Harry Kane 142.3 16
A varied finisher

Jota has added aerial prowess to his repertoire this term.

He did not score a header in the Premier League during his time at Wolves but has gone on to nod in twice so far against Sheffield United and Leicester.

Jota highlights v Leicester

Since arriving in English football he has found the net multiple times with either foot and has shown at Liverpool that he is capable of dribbling past defenders before finishing.

How Jota has scored his goals
Type of finish PL goals
Left foot 8
Right foot 11
Head 2
Inside box 21
Outside box 0

Nuno Espirito Santo will be well aware of Jota's qualities, but trying to stop his movement and awareness inside the final third will be far from easy.

If Jota is able to impress against his former side, Liverpool stand a better chance of avoiding a third successive league loss.

Also in this series

Part 1: Willock can be Newcastle's driving force against Villa
Part 2: O'Shea and Townsend making West Brom harder to beat
Part 3: Duel between Tierney and Bale can decide the derby

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