Diogo Jota faces new challenge at Liverpool as Euro 2020 offers big chances – –

Jurgen Klopp faces Diogo Jota conundrum as Liverpool farewell beckons him – fr

There won’t be much representation of Liverpool at the next European Championships.
Between injuries, qualifying failures and relocating players, only seven Reds hope to come out for their country when the tournament kicks off tonight in Rome with Turkey facing Italy.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Neco Williams could face off as early as Saturday with Switzerland due to face Wales in Baku, although Jordan Henderson will most likely be limited to the bench the next day when England start against Croatia. Harry Wilson could also be involved at the weekend.

On Monday Andy Robertson will captain Scotland against the Czech Republic while, later today, Thiago Alcantara will aim for a starting role for Spain against Sweden.

However, it is the last Liverpool player who could make an appearance at Euro 2020 with who perhaps the biggest intrigue surrounds.

Particularly because, in terms of Reds forwards impacting the competition, Diogo Jota has a lot to do.

Jota hit the ground arriving at Anfield from Wolverhampton Wanderers last September only to be sidelined for more than three months with a knee problem.

A final tally of 13 goals in 30 appearances was a decent comeback for an injury-hampered first campaign and highlighted how he can consistently challenge the top three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane next season.

The 24-year-old has been equally productive with Portugal, scoring four goals in his last seven starts and a key member of a team looking to defend the title they won in France five years ago.

And if Jota makes a revealing contribution, he will continue a trend of Liverpool forwards in the European Championship in recent editions.

In 2004, as Michael Owen found the target for England as he had done four years earlier, the Reds’ most successful striker was Milan Baros.

Helping the Czech Republic to the semi-finals, he also finished top scorer in the tournament with five goals in as many games, including a winner against Germany in the group stage.

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Four years later, Fernando Torres scored the winning goal in the final against Germany to trigger a period of domination for Spain, who won the World Cup in 2010 and then defended their European crown in 2012.

Torres was then replaced by Andy Carroll at Liverpool, the former Newcastle United player leading the opener of England’s thrilling group stage victory over Sweden.

And at the last European Championships in 2016, Daniel Sturridge scored a spectacular goal in added time to give the Three Lions a 2-1 triumph over Wales.

It won’t be easy for Jota, with Portugal having been drawn alongside France, Germany and Hungary in the toughest group in the competition.

But if the last few months have proven anything, it’s that the Liverpool striker loves to take on a new challenge.


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