Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has handed Chelsea an FA Cup final boost by confirming Reds midfielder Fabinho will not be fit for Saturday’s game at Wembley.
The Brazilian limped off during Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Tuesday night after suffering a muscle injury in the first half of the clash at Villa Park.
“I don’t know [how bad it is]. He felt the muscle, not too much,” Klopp said after the win, which kept his side’s Premier League title hopes alive. He is quite positive, but I’m not sure what I can make of that, to be honest. We will see.”
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Fabinho has since undergone a scan on the injury, and while it isn’t likely to keep him out for the remainder of the campaign, Klopp has accepted the 28-year-old will miss Saturday’s cup final at Wembley.
He told Liverpool’s official website: “There’s a good chance that he will be back whenever – not for the weekend but whenever.”
As things stand, Fabinho will be Liverpool’s only absentee at the weekend. It’s a very different story for Chelsea. The Blues will be without Ben Chilwell (knee), while Callum Hudson-Odoi has been struggling with an achilles injury for several weeks and is unlikely to feature.
Meanwhile, N’Golo Kante is a doubt, having missed Chelsea’s last three matches, and Mateo Kovacic faces a race against time to make the game, having suffered an ankle injury in the 3-0 victory over Leeds United last night at Elland Road.
“If he misses it [the FA Cup final], I’m very disappointed because he was a clear starter,” Thomas Tuchel admitted after the game. “If you look at the quality with Jorgi and him in central midfield, even when we played eleven against eleven, it was a very strong start. He is a key figure for us in midfield.
“He played against Liverpool – I think both matches from the beginning – and was very strong. He’s super, super hungry and determined, and excited to play these matches. And of course, he fears he will miss it.”