Fabinho was replaced just 30 minutes into the clash with Aston Villa on Tuesday and is now a doubt to be fit in time to face Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley
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- 16:16, 11 May 2022
- Updated16:43, 11 May 2022
Liverpool have been handed a hopeful update on the fitness of Fabinho after he was withdrawn due to injury during Tuesday's win over Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old lasted just half an hour of the Premier League clash at Villa Park before being substituted with a hamstring problem, to be replaced by captain Jordan Henderson. His side went on to secure a 2-1 victory without their midfield enforcer after coming from behind to earn all three points thanks to Sadio Mane's winner.
But the shine was taken off Liverpool's evening despite them putting more pressure on rivals Manchester City in the title race, as concern for Fabinho tempered any post-match enthusiasm. Jurgen Klopp's side have a crucial period ahead where they play four games in 14 days, including Saturday's FA Cup final, as well as the Champions League final later this month.
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However, it seems Fabinho could well be back in action at least in time for the trip to Paris for the clash with Real Madrid, after Brazil's fitness coach Fábio Mahseredjian provided an update. Fabinho has been called up to his national side in an announcement made on Wednesday, with Mahseredjian stating: "We don't have all the information yet, but we are optimistic that he will reach the Champions League final."
Fabinho remains a key player for Liverpool and Klopp will be disappointed if the Brazilian is not able to feature in the Wembley showdown vs Chelsea this weekend, where the Merseyside club are bidding to win their second trophy of the season. They then head to Southampton on Tuesday evening in a must-win fixture if they are to stand any chance of beating City to the Premier League title.
That is followed by the home visit of Wolves on the final day of the season, with the importance of that match very much dependent on City's results between now and then. Pep Guardiola's team travel to Wolves on Wednesday night and West Ham on Sunday afternoon, before welcoming Aston Villa to the Etihad on the last day of the campaign.
Fabinho suffered a hamstring injury against Aston Villa on Tuesday
Liverpool will then have just six days to dust themselves down to prepare for the Champions League final meeting with Madrid – that is if they are not involved in a unique play-off in between, which could be an outside possibility if they and City end the domestic season tied on points, goal difference and goals scored.
Klopp does have various options in his squad to replace Fabinho, though none with quite the same attributes in terms of breaking up opposition attacks – a crucial element in the Reds' game-plan. Either Henderson or Thiago Alcantara would be the likeliest candidates to fill the void should Fabinho not be fit enough to play a part at Wembley, though veteran James Milner could also deputise if called upon.
Thiago played a deeper role during his time at Bayern Munich but has flourished in a more advanced position during his time at Anfield. His partnership with Fabinho in the midfield has been one of the key components in Liverpool's success this season as they continue to stay in the hunt for an historic quadruple.
The Brazilian was replaced after just half an hour and could miss Saturday's FA Cup final
Who should Klopp play in the FA Cup Final if Fabinho is unavailable? Let us know your XI in the comments below.
Curtis Jones was handed a start against Villa on Tuesday, while Naby Keita has enjoyed an extended run in the side of late, though Klopp will no doubt wait for further prognosis on Fabinho before making a decision on his cup final lineup. The German boss even admitted when speaking after the win over Villa that he wishes he'd have rested Fabinho with the benefit of hindsight.
"He felt a muscle, not too much. It was not the thigh, but the other side (hamstring). He is quite positive but I’m not sure what I can take of that, to be honest. We will see. I can’t say when he’ll be ready. Nobody has an answer for that," Klopp said.
"He has a good feeling and that gives me a better feeling than I had when I took him off. If you ask me now, I’d say leave Fabinho out (for this game) but I can’t turn that back. He was completely fine before the game.”
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