Klopp previews Liverpool's FA Cup final against Chelsea
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Liverpool face Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup Final in search of the second trophy of a potential quadruple this season but will be without midfield stalwart Fabinho through injury. Express Sport runs through Jurgen Klopp’s expected lineup at Wembley Stadium, including five changes from the 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa in midweek.
Caoimhin Kelleher was exceptional in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final win against Chelsea in February, showcasing a series of fine goalkeeping in open-play and the penalty shoot-out. However, Klopp could opt for his first-choice stopper with the quadruple still in sight.
Defence: Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson
After receiving a rest in the Villa win, Andrew Robertson should return to the side on the opposite side of the defence and will face a monumental challenge against Reece James. Trent Alexander-Arnold will undoubtedly keep his place in the side and will have just as challenging an afternoon against Marcos Alonso.
Virgil van Dijk will be the first name on Klopp’s teamsheet as one of a stellar selection of centre-backs on either side. And Ibrahima Konate, the scorer of Liverpool’s opening goal against Manchester City in the semi-finals, could replace Joel Matip to provide fresh legs.
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Midfield: Henderson, Keita, Thiago
Klopp has confirmed he will be back for the Champion League final, but Fabinho’s absence comes as a significant blow to Liverpool’s FA Cup and Premier League hopes. Jordan Henderson will likely come into the side as the holding midfielder to fill the void.
Naby Keita was the only midfielder to complete 90 minutes at Villa Park on Tuesday and is expected to keep his place in the trio. But Thiago is set to earn redemption after his tearful 11th-hour withdrawal from the Carabao Cup final, replacing Curtis Jones.
Attack: Salah, Diaz, Mane
There shouldn’t be any surprises in Klopp’s front three, especially after Mohamed Salah started the Villa win from the bench. The Egyptian winger is expected to return to the lineup, with Luis Diaz on the left and Sadio Mane playing down the middle.
Diogo Jota, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino should be available as impact substitutes on what will be a strong Liverpool bench, despite the handful of changes. If the Reds are successful against Chelsea again, Klopp will complete his collection of the four major club trophies at Anfield.
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