Liverpool tipped to axe Oxlade-Chamberlain after confirmed news - pundit
Kevin Phillips has tipped Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to recall Diogo Jota for the visit of Newcastle United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the 2000 European Golden Shoe winner expects Jota, 25, to come into the starting XI at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 28.
Jota was a second-half substitute in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, having missed their midweek Champions League win at AC Milan.
Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the Portugal international in the starting XI against Villa.
Speaking to club media (15 December) ahead of Thursday’s game against Newcastle, Klopp revealed Roberto Firmino had returned to full training.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs if Klopp would likely make changes to the side that beat Villa, Phillips said: “I expect Jota to come back in for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
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“At this stage of the season it is about trying to utilise the squad as best you can. Liverpool have to be extra wary of that with the African Cup of Nations coming up.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is a good player but he has not hit the heights expected at Liverpool.
“He has undeniable quality though. He can cause defenders problems in that false 9 position. By drifting into pockets he creates space for Salah and Mane.
“I think it was a clever move from Klopp, playing him in there. Guardiola does it all the time with his midfielders.”
Jota is enjoying another stellar campaign for the Reds this year.
He has contributed nine goals and two assists in 19 appearances across all competitions.