Liverpool receive mixed injury news ahead of Chelsea as Pep Lijnders makes best team in world admission

The key talking points from Pep Lijnders’ press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea.

Pep Lijnders has addressed the media ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

Here are the key talking points from the Reds assistant manager’s press conference

Injury latest

Liverpool have had mixed injury news heading into the final.

Diogo Jota has missed the past two games because of an ankle injury. He’s not been ruled out but it will be a ‘challenge’ for him to be fit.

But Roberto Firmino will again be sidelined with a muscle problem he suffered in the 2-0 defeat of Inter Milan in the Champions League. He’s also been absent for the previous two matches.

Lijnders said: “Bobby, we have to see in the next two days. He’s pushing himself really hard but will not be available for the final.

“We hope he will be back really soon. I’m happy he’s pushing himself.

“Jota so far no reaction with what he’s done. That’s a good sign. He isn’t ruled out but it will still be a challenge.”

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders. Picture: Liverpoo FC/ Youtube

One-club mentality

Liverpool have reached their first domestic cup final since 2016.

Lijnders has put the reason down to the efforts of the youngsters who’ve made that happen in the earlier rounds, having used the Carabao Cup to ‘launch’ young talent.

He believes it’s the sort of mentality and structure that the best clubs in the world have.

Lijnders said: “We have tradition in both. We have history in both.

“This is a competition we want to bring in young talent, we want to launch them.

“If you look at the best clubs in the world, they have a one-club mentality and our journey in his shows that.

“Now we are two days away from the final, we want to go into it with all we have. We can’t wait to go to Wembley, see all the fans and hear them.

“For the whole club, it’s a big compliment. This competition is so much more than the first team. It’s a compliment to the academy as well.

“Caoim [Kelleher] is a really good example. He’s going to play the final, if everything goes well in training. It shows there’s a path for all young goalkeepers in our club.

“It’s possible for a young keeper to reach a final with time, a lot of training and a lot of steps.”

Chelsea challenge

Liverpool sit second in the Premier League and come up against a Chelsea side who’re third.

Not only that, but Thomas Tuchel’s side are both European and world champions.

Lijnders is relishing the challenge ahead.

He said: “It’s English football that makes it [the final] so special. There are 92 clubs.

“The history of English competitions prove each team from a league can beat a team from a different league.

“Now it’s two Champions League teams going for a trophy. We go there to compete with the champions of Europe and champions of the world at this moment.

“We know Chelsea are a top, top team with technique and experience. They are the team that always find the space the opposition doesn’t look by.

“We have to be spot on in two days. We really look forward to it.

The manager always says we do not want to be the best team in the world, but want to be most capable at each moment and time of the season to beat the best team in the world. That’s what we’re going to try in two days.”