Former Liverpool hero Michael Owen believes Diogo Jota may miss out on the Reds’ crucial upcoming fixtures.
Liverpool put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday night with a 3-1 away win over Benfica.
Goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz saw Jurgen Klopp’s men return to Merseyside with a significant advantage ahead of next week’s return leg.
With Benfica at least half taken care of, attention can now be dedicated to three crucial upcoming games, starting with Manchester City this weekend.
Liverpool can leapfrog City with a win at the Etihad Stadium amid an incredibly tight title race, and in the weeks to come, they face Pep Guardiola’s men again in the FA Cup semi-finals ahead of facing rivals Manchester United in the Premier League.
Ahead of those games, former Reds striker Owen believes a selection hint during the win over Benfica may point to reduced involvement for Jota despite the Portuguese star’s fine form this season.
“Brilliant result and that goal from Diaz just to get that two-goal cushion there was huge,” he told BT Sport via the Daily Star.
“Absolutely huge. If it had been 2-1, those players trudging off the pitch would still be thinking ‘you know what, we’re still in it’, but that goal from Liverpool has been a dagger through Benfica’s heart.
“Liverpool, to be fair, played a solid game. The way Jurgen Klopp manages his substitutes suggests maybe not.
“Bringing Mo Salah and Sadio Mane off, you’d think Jota would have to play with how well he’s been playing lately and not starting today.
“Potentially not, but before the game I thought he might do. Based on that today, leaving him on for the full game, he might be thinking of the other three.”