Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unsure about Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk injuries following their FA Cup triumph but is expecting Fabinho to be ready for the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Despite celebrating their second major trophy of this campaign the Reds needed extra-time and penalties to dispatch Chelsea but neither regular starters Van Dijk and Salah finished the Wembley showpiece game. Salah was forced off before half-time while Van Dijk did not return after full-time.
With matches coming in quick succession — their final three games are set to be played across 11 days — and Liverpool still fighting on multiple fronts, Klopp is not prepared to take any risks.
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“We had to change Mo early, which was not cool,” he told reporters.
“It was my decision, it was pretty cautionary. Mo said, ‘I feel something, I can carry on.’ I said, ‘No.’ A football game is not a perfect physiotherapist, it means it rarely gets better during a game.
“Then Virg stands with me and says, ‘I feel something but it’s fine I think.’ We made a decision together, so he stayed on but it was clear when we didn’t make it in 90 minutes he had to go off.”
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It’s a swift turnaround for Liverpool now with Klopp taking his side to Southampton for a Premier League showdown on May 17, heading into matchday 36 they find themselves in second and three points behind Manchester City, who also boast a superior goal-difference.
Klopp admitted he thinks both will be fine, but it all depends on how they fare when training. That being said, he could very well freshen up the Reds lineup, both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino started on the bench against Chelsea, either could come in for Salah with Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane expected to be part of Liverpool’s front-three at Saint Mary’s while Joel Matip can step in for Van Dijk.
Someone else not expected to feature is Fabinho, however the influential Brazilian defensive midfielder is on course to be part of the biggest game in Uefa’s calendar.
What a time to be a Red! 🕺🏽 pic.twitter.com/Puy8DKoVg5
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) May 14, 2022
“[He] will definitely be back for the [Champions League] final,” Klopp added.
“[He is] absolutely OK. Fab is a professional, he was obviously not happy about it, that’s clear, 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 and we are all very positive that it will be the case. So he is absolutely OK.”