Jürgen Klopp expects Fabinho to be fit for the Champions League final despite the Liverpool midfielder sustaining a hamstring injury during Tuesday’s win over Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old will miss Saturday’s FA Cup final with Chelsea and the two remaining Premier League games of the season against Southampton and Wolves as a result of a strain to his left hamstring. However, he should recover to face Real Madrid in Paris on 28 May.
Klopp said: “There’s a good chance that he will be available for the Champions League final.”
Although Fabinho’s absence is undoubtedly a setback to Liverpool’s FA Cup and title prospects, their manager believes his squad will handle the loss.
Klopp, who replaced Fabinho with Jordan Henderson to good effect against Villa, said: “We have to cope, because we can cope. Having him or not having him is a difference but it is all fine. That’s normal stuff that happens. It’s never in a position where you have 12 options, it’s always in a position where you don’t. We have a few players. Hendo came on and played incredible. He has played super games this season at 6 so that is not a problem.”
Chelsea are hopeful that Mateo Kovacic will give them a boost by proving his fitness in time to face Liverpool. Kovacic limped off during the first half of Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Leeds on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury in the challenge that saw Daniel James receive a red card. Thomas Tuchel cut a frustrated figure when he said after that the influential midfielder had little chance of a swift recovery.
However there is a chance that Tuchel’s reaction was overly pessimistic. Kovacic, who heavily iced his ankle and leg on the bench at Leeds, has not sustained a long-term injury and could be involved against Liverpool if he is able to train on Friday.
Chelsea will be desperate for Kovacic to make himself available. The Croatia international has had an excellent season and Tuchel has other concerns in central midfield. N’Golo Kanté is a doubt after missing Chelsea’s past three games and Jorginho has been playing with a minor knock.