Jurgen Klopp knew the day would come when the discussion around Liverpool’s title defence focused on notable absentees. What he would have found less predictable is the suggestion the ill-timed injury to Diogo Jota, not Virgil van Dijk, might prove the most influential in this year's race. While the football world has obsessed about Liverpool’s defence bereft of three senior centre-backs, it has crept up on the consciousness that the famed front three needs to reconnect with their usual dynamism, speed and efficiency. Since Jota’s exceptional start to his Anfield career was halted on December 9, Liverpool have won two of their seven Premier League games. Although they scored seven against Crystal Palace, they appeared to leave their proficiency at Selhurst Park. In the other six games, they have a meagre four goals. For the first time since 2005, Liverpool have gone three Premier League without scoring. That was inconceivable heading into this campaign. If Klopp could rewind, he would surely opt against playing Jota in the Champions League dead-rubber against Midtjylland. That was the evening the Portuguese striker suffered the knee injury which might keep him out for another couple of months. Liverpool have not looked the same since.