Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final
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'From what I'm hearing': Jamie Carragher shares latest he's been told about Thiago's fitness ahead of CL final

Jamie Carragher says he’s been told it’s fifty-fifty whether Thiago Alcantara will be fit for Liverpool’s Champions League final on Saturday.

The Reds have been sweating on Thiago’s fitness ever since he limped out of the 3-1 against Wolves on Sunday. And speaking to the Blood Red: Liverpool FC podcast, Carragher said he’s heard it’s in the balance.

“If Thiago’s there I think it give us a massive opportunity, it really does,” said the pundit. “From what I’m hearing it’s fifty-fifty, fingers crossed that he can just make it. But if someone says to me it’s fifty-fifty, it’s the European Cup final, you’re not missing it are you.”

That will be something that Jurgen Klopp will have to weigh up this week. Is Thiago that good that you play him if it’s possible, or do you only go with those who are fully-fit.

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Thiago has to play

For us, Thiago simply has to play on Saturday. If there’s a chance that he is physically able to, then Klopp has to put him on the pitch.

Of course, you don’t want to risk doing any further damage, and Thiago is a player prone to setbacks. But at the same time, this is the biggest game in club football. It’s worth it to go all out for the chance to claim the biggest prize.


The point is made particularly prudent by the fact that Fabinho’s fitness is also heavily in doubt. Liverpool can’t go into the biggest game of the season without their two best midfielders.

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Hopefully, both are able to make recoveries in time to play. There are only four days to go until the final though, any recovery has to start now.

Drawing up Plan B

Should the worst come to the worst and both Thiago and Fabinho can’t take part, Klopp has some thinking to do. In that scenario Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita would be certain to make up two-thirds of the midfield.

Who the last spot would go to would be a bit of a leap of faith from Jurgen. Milner has been the go-to man in recent weeks, but can he raise his level for such an occasion? You probably wouldn’t bet against him.

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Curtis Jones may have his eye on a start in Paris, but he doesn’t look ready for such a step. Then there’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has barely had a kick since January. Harvey Elliott is possibly just ahead of him in the pecking order, but starting him on Saturday is pretty unthinkable.

Another option for Klopp could be to spring a surprise. Maybe dropping Roberto Firmino in as a roaming number 10 could have the desired effect?

Fingers crossed that Plan A doesn’t have to be revised. Whoever plays on Saturday though, every Liverpool fan will be right behind them.

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