• Diogo Jota has scored 8 goals in 12 matches this season
  • Mo Salah tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty
  • Liverpool defeated Atalanta in the first leg in Italy

Former Liverpool striker Johan Aldridge said Diogo Jota has a similar impact to Mohamed Salah ahead of the Reds’ Champions League clash with Atalanta Wednesday.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking in a pre-match press conference on the eve of the Atalanta match, confirmed that Mo Salah, who had contracted COVID-19 has returned with a negative test, and is set to feature in the game at Anfield.

Speaking about Salah, who returned to full training at Liverpool’s training center at Kirkby, Klopp said, "Mo trained with the team yesterday and looked really good. All the tests were negative so now, if nothing changes, he’s available, which is good. Now we have to see what we do because he was quarantined until three days ago."

With Salah set to return, Klopp will have a hard time deciding his starting XI, according to Aldridge.

"What do you do when Salah comes back in? It’s going to be tough but it’s a great position for the manager to be in with the four attacking players. It was great for Roberto Firmino to score at Anfield because it seemed like the world was against him. Out of what was the established front three, his place had to be the most at risk, you have to say that," former Reds player told Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota (C) celebrates his goal against West Ham
Liverpool's Diogo Jota (C) celebrates with Sadio Mane (L) and Mohamed Salah (R) POOL / Clive Brunskill

Jota, who has scored eight goals in 12 competitive matches this season for Liverpool, has been forcing himself into the team and Aldrige says Klopp cannot keep the Portuguese forward out of the team now.

"They’ll all be fighting for their place now and it’s a nice headache for the manager to have but now you simply can’t keep Jota out of the team. He’s had such a big impact, it’s similar to Salah when he first came to the club," Aldridge added in the same interview.

Liverpool, however, will be without a series of regular starters for the match against the Serie A side such as Captain Jordan Henderson, who suffered groin injury and defender Trent Alexander-Arnold who had calf injury. The center-back duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are already sidelined for long term with knee injuries, while there is no news about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantara, who have been out of action for a long time now.