Fabinho out of FA Cup final against Chelsea; who can replace him in Liverpool’s midfield?

During the first half of Tuesday's Premier League victory at Aston Villa, the defensive midfielder had to be taken off with a muscular injury.

Fabinho in a file photo; Credit: Fabinho Twitter

Liverpool suffered a massive injury blow after it was announced that their ever-reliable midfielder Fabinho will miss the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday through injury. During the first half of Tuesday’s Premier League victory at Aston Villa, the defensive midfielder had to be taken off with a muscular injury. The fears of Liverpool fans watching him come off at Villa Park turned out to be true when their manager Jurgen Klopp announced that he will miss the all-important final against Chelsea on Saturday. Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com, “There’s a good chance that he will be back whenever – not for the weekend but whenever.”

What are the remaining matches for Liverpool?

Klopp will nonetheless hope to have the midfielder available soon, as the Reds are still in the hunt for a Quadruple. After winning the Carabao Cup earlier this year against Chelsea, the Reds are still in the race for the Premier League title, FA Cup and Champions League glory. In the FA Cup final, they will lock horns against the Blues on Saturday, while Klopp’s side will play Real Madrid in the Champions League. In the league, Liverpool have 86 points from 36 games and are three behind leaders Manchester City.

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After the Chelsea clash, Liverpool still have three games left in the season. They first travel to Southampton next Tuesday before playing their final league game at home to Wolves on Sunday (May 22). Then they play the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris on May 28. It goes without saying that Fabinho will be needed for all those matches to help them provide better defensive cover against tough opponents. Sitting at the base of midfield, he provides security to the backline and both the full-backs when they charge forward. 

Who can replace Fabinho?

Fabinho provides more than defensive cover. He is very good at starting the attack from the back with his long-range passing. Hence, it will be difficult to find his replacement. Jordan Henderson will be the main choice for Klopp to replace the Brazilian in the defensive midfield role. The English midfielder is an aggressive-minded player, who closes down the opponents quickly and provides good defensive cover. He might not pass the ball as good as Fabinho but can still do the required job. The other alternative is Naby Keita. His energetic presence will come in handy for Liverpool but Henderson will be the first choice to replace Fabinho on Saturday.

Sportslumo Desk

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