Caoimhin Kelleher is set to start in goal, but Diogo Jota is touch-and-go to feature for Liverpool against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
Liverpool will be aiming to lift their first trophy of the 2021/22 season when they lock horns with arch-rivals Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday evening.
Liverpool do not have any fresh injury concerns leading up to the game. However, assistant coach Pepijn Ljinders confirmed in the pre-match press conference that the Reds would have to make do without Roberto Firmino for the game. He also mentioned that Portuguese forward Diogo Jota was back in individual training but was not certain for the final.
“Bobby we have to see in the next two days. He is pushing himself really hard but he will not be available for the final, to reach the squad. Jota, so far no reaction on the things he did, so the straight-line running, the changes of direction and the ball work he did, so that’s a good sign. He isn’t ruled out but still it will be a challenge,” Ljinders said.
On Sunday, Liverpool will hand young goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher a start against Chelsea over regular first-choice Alisson Becker. The 23-year-old has been a regular in the Carabao Cup this season and will look to help the Reds lift the trophy.
The backline pretty much picks itself with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson lining up as the full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively, while Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk should pair up at the centre.
Moving into the middle of the park, Fabinho is a guaranteed start at the base of the three-man unit. The Brazilian will have support from captain Jordan Henderson, who will also look to make forward forays when on the ball. Thiago Alcantara should get the nod in the third slot in the centre ahead of Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and James Milner against Chelsea.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are locked in to feature in two of the three slots in the final third of the pitch. Should Jota be passed fit to feature, he will take up the third spot in the Liverpool frontline against Chelsea. If the Portuguese forward does not make it, January signing Luis Diaz, who has enjoyed a great start to life in England, should get the nod.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Mane