Liverpool’s Salah, Nunez In Contention For League Cup Final

Liverpool may have a significant advantage over Chelsea in the League Cup final on Sunday, with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Dominik Szoboszlai returning from injuries.

All three missed Wednesday’s 4-1 triumph over Luton, which saw Liverpool move four points clear at the top of the table despite missing nine first-team players.

Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, and Diogo Jota will be unavailable for the match at Wembley Stadium, as Liverpool seeks to capture the first of a possible quadruple of trophies in Jurgen Klopp’s last season.

“Dom, Darwin, and Mo, we need to see. We have two more days, today’s and tomorrow’s sessions, and we’ll see if they can make it,” Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders said during Friday’s pre-match press conference.

Liverpool beat Chelsea 4-1 in the Premier League less than a month ago, but Lijnders is wary of the Blues due to their recent progress.

Chelsea are 10th in the Premier League table after a rocky start to Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure, but they helped Liverpool in the championship fight by holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw last week.

Lijnders believes the Argentine is starting to strike the proper balance with a squad loaded with young talent that has cost more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in transfer fees over the last two years.

“We will need our full toolbox,” said Lijnders. “Chelsea, I think the instability that happened in the beginning of the season, a lot happened there — a lot.

“So how can you expect them to perform straight away? They are growing, I think their manager is doing an unbelievable job.”

Trophy chasers

Klopp is set to cap up his successful tenure at Anfield in style.

The Reds have the potential to equal Manchester United’s record of 20 English Premier League crowns, and they are also in the last 16 of the FA Cup and Europa League.

Lijnders will leave the club at the conclusion of the season to pursue his own management career, and he wants to go on a positive note by providing lots of reasons for the Liverpool fans to cheer.

“Our goal is to bring joy and feelings to our fans. If you want to explain our football philosophy, it would be to bring excitement and emotion to the supporters.”

Since Klopp announced his resignation a month ago, his team has won five of six games.

Virgil van Dijk will captain the Reds on Sunday, and he believes that focusing on the task at hand rather than the future has been critical to keeping the team on pace.“The end of the season will be probably very emotional for a lot of people, including the manager, but we are not there yet,” the defender told the Liverpool website.

“We shouldn’t look too far ahead, we should look at what is in front of us and that’s what we want to do.”

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