Jurgen Klopp confirmed Fabinho will miss the FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea, though insisted he’ll “definitely” be back for the Champions League final.
The Reds battle the Blues for the second time at Wembley this season on Saturday. Liverpool and Chelsea contested the Carabao Cup final in February with Klopp’s side emerging victorious that day.
Only a sudden death penalty shoot-out could separate the two teams, indicating how closely matched they’ve been when squaring off this year. Their two league meetings both ended in score-draws.
The margins are expected to be fine once again, and Liverpool are poised to be without their chief holding midfielder, Fabinho.
The Brazilian hobbled off against Tottenham earlier this week and will now miss the final versus Chelsea. However, Klopp was adamant he’ll be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.
“He will definitely be back for the Champions League final,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference (via the Liverpool Echo).
When pressed for what he expects from Thomas Tuchel’s side, Klopp added: “It’s a completely different game. Chelsea is a really well-coached team, i’ll have to say.
“They have an idea for all areas of the game. They are organised defensively. We have no idea how Thomas will line up, there are so many options. They have a similar system to others but a different level.”
Klopp dispels Liverpool myth
Tomorrow will mark the first FA Cup final Liverpool have reached under Jurgen Klopp and the club’s first since 2012.
One criticism of Klopp’s tenure has been the relative disregard with which he has treated the domestic cups.
But with Liverpool’s squad now stronger than ever, the Reds are finally making their mark in the League Cup and FA Cup.
Dismissing the notion he never aimed to win those trophies in the past, Klopp said: “We always gave our all to arrive to the final, we just didn’t make it.
“What is clear when you start a journey, you can’t have it all. We didn’t have the squad to go for it all [all the trophies].
“It was never that we didn’t want to go to the final, we just didn’t have the power to do it. I don’t think we were particularly lucky with our draws, we had really tough draws.”
The FA Cup is arguably only Liverpool’s third biggest priority this season. Regardless, Klopp talked up the competition and vowed to deliver for the people of Liverpool.
“When you go for three or four trophies, it’s clear you get it or you don’t,” he continued.
“It’s a busy season, but it will never happen that the FA Cup is just a normal game. It’s a special game and, for some, the biggest in their career. We want to enjoy it and deliver for our people.”
Finally, Klopp was asked about the new Champions League format.
The changes will take effect beginning in the 2024/25 season, with the full list of alterations detailed by UEFA here.
The most eye-catching change in Klopp’s mind is the bump from six group stage matches to eight.
“More games is always a bad idea,” bemoaned the German. “I’ve spoken a lot about that. Obviously nobody is interested, so… that’s ok.
“I’ve had no time to get the [full] details, I heard a bit about it, but no time to really form an opinion.”