Liverpool stand on the brink of an unprecedented quadruple, with the Champions League and FA Cup finals awaiting them in the next few weeks, plus the remaining Premier League fixtures which could turn these players into legends.
Jurgen Klopp understandably wants the best team available for every match, although due to the sheer demands from being so successful in four competitions, squad rotation has been paramount.
The Reds take on Chelsea this weekend in the FA Cup final and the manager received a blow with the news that Fabinho will miss out due to a hamstring injury that he sustained against Aston Villa in midweek.
There is a silver lining, though, as Klopp has stated that the Brazilian “will definitely be back for the Champions League final”, which is a big boost for Liverpool’s chances against Real Madrid in Paris in just over a fortnight’s time.
The 28-year-old has made the defensive midfield position his own this season at Anfield, featuring 47 times in all competitions whilst scoring eight goals, a solid return for someone whose main job is to stabilise the midfield and protect the back four.
Compared to his positional peers in the big five European leagues, Fabinho sits within the 88th percentile of pass completion percentage (88.9%) and the 79th percentile for interceptions won per 90 minutes (2.15), showing his ability to win the ball back and anticipate opponents’ next moves.
Losing the 28-year-old is a big blow for Liverpool ahead of the FA Cup final and it could seriously hamper their hopes of a second Wembley triumph over Chelsea this year.
In the Carabao Cup final earlier this season, Fabinho was given a rating of 7.25 by WhoScored against Thomas Tuchel’s men, which was the joint-third highest rating in the Liverpool side as they went on to win the trophy following a marathon penalty shoot-out.
They may well find the task tougher this time around without the Brazilian, but at least they will potentially have him back to take on Real Madrid, which will be a major boost for the Reds as they seek to avenge their 2018 Champions League final defeat to the La Liga giants.