As the Reds prepare to play Real Madrid in the Champions League final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has commented about the health of key midfielders Thiago and Fabinho.
Thiago played 45 minutes on the last day of the Premier League but was forced to leave at halftime due to a calf injury. Thiago’s absence from Saturday’s game would be a significant loss for Liverpool, given he has been outstanding under Klopp this season.
Meanwhile, Fabinho suffered a thigh injury against Aston Villa earlier this month. This meant he missed the league victories against Southampton and Wolves, as well as the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.
Fabinho, like Thiago, has a significant effect on how Liverpool plays. He sits in front of the defense, enabling his teammates in the midfield and both wing-backs to advance.
Klopp discussed the mood in the Liverpool camp, as well as Thiago and Fabinho’s health, ahead of the trip to Paris this weekend.
“The vibe is excellent,” Klopp stated (via Liverpool Echo). “I’m so happy to be here right now.” It’s all fine. I’m getting a feel for the stadium and the area.
“Thiago and Fabinho both seem fantastic.” Fabinho trained normally, Thiago trained with the squad yesterday, will train today, and we’ll see where things go from there.
“We’re here for the third time in five years, which is unusual. The only thing I’m thinking about is how to prepare for the game; I haven’t even considered what it would feel like if we won.”
Jurgen Klopp talks about Mo Salah
Mo Salah, the Reds’ star, is excited to face Real Madrid again. He was hurt during Liverpool’s 2018 UCL final loss to them following a challenge by Sergio Ramos.
“Nobody needs to worry about Mo, it was a particular scenario for him,” Klopp said of the Egyptian attacker.
“He was hurt throughout the game, and his arm wasn’t in great form.” It’s different for him. We are all motivated differently. That is not an issue for me.
“It’s not Mo’s sole incentive. It’s natural for him to want to make things right; we didn’t forget what occurred that time; it was only a short time ago, and I’m not going to show a gaming video to motivate him tomorrow. That makes no sense. It might be one of the reasons, but it is not the only one.”
Klopp then discussed who is the ‘favorite’ to win the Champions League between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
“I have no idea who the favorite is,” he said. “If you look at the other team’s history and the way Real Madrid celebrates comebacks — their comebacks are insane – I’d pick Real Madrid from my perspective.”
“But, in reality, I want us to think on the same level and be entirely ourselves. We are tough to play when we are at the peak of our game. That’s all I’m worried about.”
If both Thiago and Fabinho play, Liverpool will have a far greater chance of winning the coveted title.
Thiago has shown his ability to sever opponent defenses, no matter how strong they are.
Fabinho will assist Virgil van Dijk and co. in their attempt to keep the in-form Karim Benzema quiet.