Today’s FA Cup final will see Liverpool take on Chelsea at Wembley without first-choice midfielder Fabinho.
The Brazilian was forced off after half an hour in the Reds’ win over Aston Villa, suffering a hamstring injury that Jurgen Klopp has confirmed will keep him out of this weekend’s final.
Klopp has at least confirmed that Fabinho will be fit in time for the Champions League final later this month, with Jordan Henderson replacing him in defensive midfield.
“We can cope, having him or not having him is a difference but it is all fine,” Klopp said on Thursday.
“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 [against Villa], he has played super games this season at number six so that is not a problem.”
Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah didn’t start at Villa Park but both come back into the side, with Klopp’s two big decisions coming at centre-back and up front.
Ibrahima Konate pairs Virgil van Dijk in defence, selected ahead of Joel Matip.
Luis Diaz starts alongside Salah and Sadio Mane in the front three, which leaves Diogo Jota having to settle for a place on the bench.
Both sides met at this stage of the competition in 2012 which Chelsea won.
The Blues are without Kai Havertz, as Lukaku starts. Kante begins from the bench, same as captain Azpilicueta.
Chelsea XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Mount, Lukaku, Pulisic
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Sarr, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Barkley, Werner, Ziyech
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Mane, Diaz.
Subs: Kelleher, Milner, Firmino, Gomez, Jones, Jota, Tskimikas, Origi, Matip
SOURCE: Evening Standard
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