Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has, on Friday, provided an update on the fitness of both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.
Lijnders’ comments of course come on the back of the club’s two key attackers being forced to sit out in midweek, as the Reds made short work of Leeds United to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.
Liverpool instead depended on the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and January arrival Luis Diaz, the former pair of whom bagged doubles, en route to a 6-0 Anfield rout:
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2022
Either Jota or Firmino returning to fitness in time to feature against Chelsea in the finale of the League Cup this weekend, though, looks unlikely.
Speaking to the media in anticipation of the highly-anticipated Wembley showdown, Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders was asked for the latest on the recovery efforts of the Reds pair.
And, after confirming that Firmino has been definitively ruled out, Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man admitted that, though he remains in contention to feature, Jota taking to the Wembley pitch on Sunday will be a ‘challenge’:
“Bobby (Firmino) we have to see in the next two days. He is pushing himself really hard but he will not be available for the final. We hope he will be back really soon. Jota, so far no reaction, so that’s a good sign. He isn’t ruled out but still, it will be a challenge.”
Pep Lijnders on Jota and Firmino:
“Bobby will not be available for the final. We hope he will be back soon. Jota – he isn’t ruled out but it will be a challenge.” pic.twitter.com/6Bda1cssIW
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 25, 2022
Chilwell the sole absentee
Turning attentions towards Chelsea, speaking in a press conference of his own on Friday, Thomas Tuchel provided a fitness update on his squad in anticipation of Sunday’s cup finale clash.
And the news proved of an altogether positive nature.
As confirmed by the German, all of his senior squad members bar long-term absentee Ben Chilwell took part in training this morning, meaning personnel options will be plentiful when the Blues make the short trip to Wembley in 48 hours’ time:
Tuchel says Chelsea had “training today with everybody out on the pitch except for Ben Chilwell… I hope it stays this way” #CFC
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) February 25, 2022
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