Six Liverpool players could miss Carabao Cup final - while Chelsea might be without eight

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Liverpool and Chelsea both have injury issues with the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on the horizon.

Liverpool have been hit with a hammer blow as Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to miss the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea.

The Reds vice-captain suffered a recurrence of a knee injury in last weekend's 3-1 win over Burnley. Having been absent for around three weeks in January, sitting out a total of three games, Alexander-Arnold has been consigned back to the treatment table.

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It's a blow for Liverpool, who'll be without their playmaker-in-chief when they face Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday 25 February. The Premier League rivals will do battle for the first piece of silverware up for grabs this season, having met at the national stadium twice in 2021-22.

Jurgen Klopp's side claimed victories in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup final on penalties, with both showpiece affairs ending 0-0 after extra-time.

Liverpool could claim the first leg of a potential four-trophy haul as they sit top of the league and are still in the FA Cup and Europa League respectively. Chelsea, meanwhile, have endured another difficult campaign but they'll be hoping that silverware can prove the catalyst to res-establishing themselves at the upper echelons.

As things stand, Klopp's troops could have six players absent for the final along with Alexander-Arnold. Dominik Szoboszlai is once again on the sidelines with a hamstring injury he sustained last month. The £60 million summer signing's problem has been made more complicated because of a tendon issue and Klopp admitted he's not sure whether Szboszlai will be back for Wembley.

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Meanwhile, Thiago Alcantara picked up a muscle injury during his first appearance in nine months. Having been plagued by a hip complaint, the midfielder returned for the final five minutes of Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Arsenal - yet is again unavailable.

Stefan Bajcetic has been dogged by growing pains throughout the season. After a breakthrough campaign in 2022-23, the 19-year-old has been confined to two outings this term. Joel Matip continues his comeback from ACL surgery while Ben Doak had a knee operation in December.

Chelsea, meanwhile, might be without eight players of their own. Romeo Lavia, who was targeted by Liverpool in the summer transfer window but opted for Stamford Bridge, has made just a solitary appearance for the Blues. Head coach Mauricio Pochettino has already ruled out the midfielder for the final.

Captain Reece James had hamstring surgery in December so will miss out while Wesley Fofana continues his recovery from an ACL injury and may not play again this term. Benoit Badiashile is another not set to be available because of a groin issue, while Marc Cucurella (ankle), Robert Sanchez (knee) and Lesley Ugochukwu (groin) are all absentees.

In Chelsea's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace earlier this week, veteran defender Thiago Silva was forced off with a groin problem and his availability has been plunged into doubt.

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