Liverpool’s quadruple hopes have been dealt a blow with key midfielder Fabinho out of the FA Cup final and in a race to be fit for the Champions League final.
A hamstring strain picked up in the 30th minute of the Reds’ 2-1 Premier League win over Aston Villa will see the Brazilian miss the FA Cup final against Chelsea, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.
However, Klopp suggested Fabinho could still play some part later this season.
“There’s a good chance that he will be back whenever – not for the weekend but whenever,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
The defensive midfielder signalled to be substituted in the first half of the triumph at Villa Park, but walked off of his own accord before being replaced by captain Jordan Henderson.
Henderson is used to playing ahead of Fabinho in Liverpool’s midfield three, but looked accomplished in the defensive role.
Liverpool need to win their remaining league matches against Southampton and Wolves and hope Manchester City drop points if they are to pick up their 20th league title, but they may have to do this without Fabinho.
But before that they have to focus on a Chelsea side, who will be hellbent on getting revenge on Liverpool, who beat them on penalties in a nerve-shredding Carabao Cup final.
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However, Chelsea may have a midfield blow of their own with Mateo Kovacic a major doubt for the Wembley clash.
The Croatian limped off the Elland Road pitch after being on the end of a terrible challenge from Leeds forward Dan James, who was subsequently sent off.
“He has a swollen ankle and is in a lot of pain,” said Blues boss Thomas Tuchel after their 3-0 win.
“For me like I say, I’m not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations, but it’s very unlikely that he can play. It’s absolutely bad news for us on a perfect evening.
“If he misses it I’m very disappointed because he was a clear starter.”
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