Liverpool travel to Wembley to take on Chelsea this afternoon in their second cup final clash against the Blues this year, and there have been some fitness doubts in the Londoners’ squad which will be a huge boost for Jurgen Klopp.
Thomas Tuchel took to his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon to cast doubt on N’Golo Kante’s availability for the final today.
The Chelsea manager told the press about the Frenchman (via Chelsea’s official website): “He’s also trying and tried yesterday in team training and did more or less everything, hopefully now without a reaction,”
“It was a reduced training session because of the travel and fatigue so it was not a high-intensity training session but we will also try today with him.”
The midfielder is racing to recover from an injury he sustained in the Blues’ draw against Manchester United a couple of weeks ago and has missed three games so far.
If Kante isn’t in the line-up, it will be a huge boost for Liverpool when attempting to win the midfield battles this afternoon. Klopp will surely be relieved to see the Chelsea colossus missing, especially with Fabinho unavailable for selection after sustaining a hamstring strain earlier this week.
James Pearce revealed on Thursday morning that Jordan Henderson would reprise his role in the centre of the pitch to cover for the injured Brazilian, tweeting: “Jordan Henderson set to play the holding role in Saturday’s FA Cup final.”
Although not the starting midfield that the Liverpool manager may have envisioned playing in the final, Klopp still has solid options like the club captain to cover in the midfield three. With Henderson’s experience and leadership, there is no reason why he can’t inspire the Reds to victory against Chelsea this afternoon.
The Blues have been going through a period of inconsistent form in the Premier League lately, with only two wins from their last six games, whereas Liverpool continue their long unbeaten run in the top flight as they chase for the title.
However, with the two sides meeting three times over the season so far in all competitions, neither has managed to get a winning result inside 90 minutes, so it will be interesting to see if this match goes all the way to penalties like it did in the Carabao Cup final.