Fabinho will definitely be back available for Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, manager Jurgen Klopp has said.
The Reds were dealt a huge blow ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea with the news that the Brazil international has been ruled out with a muscular injury.
Fabinho was forced off during the first half of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa and will not return in time for this weekend’s trip to Wembley.
However, providing a further update at his pre-Chelsea news conference on Friday, Klopp confirmed the 28-year-old will be available to face Madrid in Paris on May 28.
“He will definitely be back for the Champions League final,” Klopp said. “Whether he will play before that, we don’t yet know.
“Fab is a professional. He was obviously not happy about missing the Chelsea match, but he took it and is already taking on the fight against time, if you want. That’s how it is.
“It is not enough if you are ready on Friday before the final, it should be Tuesday or Wednesday or something like that and we are working on that.
“We are all very positive that it will be the case. So he is absolutely OK.”
Liverpool have lost just three of the 47 games that Fabinho has played in this season, conceding 0.7 goals per game compared to 0.9 in the 12 matches he has not featured.
Jordan Henderson is likely to return to central midfield alongside Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for the clash with Chelsea, and Klopp has full confidence others can step up.
“If all the other boys didn’t show the attitude they have had in training all season, we’d have had no chance this season,” he said. That’s been very important.”
Liverpool are competing in their first FA Cup final since 2011-12 when losing 2-1 to Chelsea, with the most recent of their seven triumphs in the competition coming in 2006.
The Reds have already lifted one cup at the national stadium this year, though, having overcome Chelsea on penalties following a goalless draw in February’s EFL Cup final.
Klopp’s side are therefore looking to win both of England’s domestic cup competitions in the same season for the first time since 2000-01, when also winning the UEFA Cup.
“We didn’t ‘beat’ Chelsea. We won the penalty shoot-out,” Klopp said. “I’ve said a few times, without luck you have no chance, and luck was on our side that day.
“It was a tough, tight game and we know how good Chelsea are and we expect another tough game.
“Both teams will go for all they have. That’s what I expect from Chelsea and that’s what I especially expect from us this time.
“It’s the biggest domestic cup competition in the world. I haven’t watched 20 FA Cup finals but I don’t think that’s necessary to understand how big it is.
“We are really looking forward to this opportunity. The boys worked their socks off to arrive here, with all the different challenges over the year.
“It’s now a massive final for us and I’m really happy we are part of it. We always gave our all to arrive to the final [in previous years], we just didn’t make it.”
The three previous meetings between Liverpool and Chelsea this season have finished level and Klopp is anticipating another tight contest against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
“Chelsea are a really well-coached team. They have a similar system to others but a different level,” he said.
“They have an idea for all areas. They’re organised defensively and offensively, with incredible talent. We have no idea how Thomas will line up. There are so many options.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!