Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the fitness of integral midfielders Thiago and Fabinho as the Reds prepare to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Thiago managed 45 minutes on the Premier League’s final day but had to be taken off at half time due to a calf problem. It would be a big miss for Liverpool if Thiago was kept out of Saturday’s match as he has been brilliant under Klopp this season.
Fabinho, meanwhile, picked up a thigh injury during the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa earlier in May. This meant he was absent for the league wins over Southampton and Wolves, as well as the FA Cup final triumph against Chelsea.
Fabinho has a huge impact on the way Liverpool play, just like Thiago. He sits in front of the defence, allowing his fellow midfielders and both wing-backs to get forward.
Ahead of the trip to Paris this weekend, Klopp spoke about the feeling in the Liverpool camp, as well as Thiago and Fabinho’s fitness.
“The mood is good, very good,” Klopp said (via Liverpool Echo). “Really excited about being here now. Getting a feeling for the stadium, for the location and it’s all good.
“Looks good for both Thiago and Fabinho. Fabinho trained completely normal, Thiago trained yesterday with the team, will train today and we will go from there.
“We are here for the third time in five years and that’s special. The only thing I think about is how to prepare for the game, I haven’t spent a second thinking about what it would feel like if we win.”
Jurgen Klopp makes Mo Salah admission
Reds talisman Mo Salah is looking forward to coming up against Real Madrid again. In Liverpool’s 2018 UCL final defeat to them, he went off injured after a challenge from Sergio Ramos.
On the Egyptian forward, Klopp added: “Nobody has to worry about Mo, for him it was a special situation.
“He got injured during the game and his arm wasn’t in very good shape. It’s for him different. We all get motivated by different things. I have no problem with that.
“It’s not the only motivation for Mo. It’s normal that he wants to put things right, we didn’t forget what happened that time, it’s just a while ago and it’s not that I will show a movie of the game tomorrow as motivation. That doesn’t make sense. It might be one reason, but not the only reason.”
Klopp then spoke about who is the ‘favourite’ to lift the trophy between Liverpool and Los Blancos.
“I don’t know who the favourite is,” he admitted. “If you look at history of the other team and the way Real Madrid celebrate comebacks – their comebacks are crazy – I’d say from my point of view is Real Madrid.
“But actually I want us to be thinking on the same level, being completely ourselves. If we are on the top of our game then we are difficult to play. That’s my only concern.”
Liverpool certainly have a better chance of lifting the coveted trophy if both Thiago and Fabinho start.
Thiago has proven his ability to cut opposition defences apart, no matter how good they are.
Fabinho will help at the other end of the pitch as Virgil van Dijk and co. aim to keep the in-form Karim Benzema quiet.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool and Real player Steve McManaman has given his verdict on the match.