Liverpool’s final game of the 2021/22 season sees them take on old rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came up short in the Premier League title race, with Manchester City defending their title with a dramatic final day win over Aston Villa.
Klopp has already secured two domestic cups this season but the chance to win a seventh European Cup/Champions League in the French capital will be a huge motivation for his team.
However, the German coach will wait on late fitness news regarding several key players before deciding on his starting team against Los Blancos.
MORE: Full list of Premier League top goalscorers for 2021-22 season
Brazilan star Fabinho missed Liverpool’s final three games of the season, including the FA Cup final win over Chelsea, after picking up a thigh strain against Aston Villa on May 10.
Klopp on Fabinho/Salah/VVD: “Not sure what we’ll do for the weekend. There’s no chance we take any risks. It looks good. The boys take steps. My preferred solution is they’d play at the weekend for rhythm reasons or maybe be on the bench. I can’t say 100%.”
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) May 20, 2022
Klopp has remained optimistic of his fitness for the final and the former Borussia Dortmund coach confirmed he will resume full training sessions from May 24 after taking part in light last week.
Thiago’s injury concern is the major worry for Klopp ahead of the final after the Spaniard was forced off at half time in their Premier League final day win over Wolves.
Klopp opted to withdraw the former Barcelona star at the break and he stated post match the 31-year-old is unlikely to be ready in time to face Real Madrid.
Jürgen Klopp says he thinks Thiago will be out of the Champions League final after picking up an injury against Wolves pic.twitter.com/cUKZ9S7e9w
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 22, 2022
He will travel with the squad to Paris but the likely outcome for him is a place on the bench if he recovers partial fitness.
Salah limped off at Wembley against Chelsea with the Egyptian not wanting to take any risks for the Premier League run-in and the Champions League final.
Mo Salah has won the Premier League Golden Boot in three of his five seasons at @LFC
◉ 2017/18 (32 goals)
◉ 2018/19 (22 goals)
◎ 2019/20 (19 goals)
◎ 2020/21 (22 goals)
◉ 2021/22 (23 goals)
Thierry Henry (4) is the only player in the competition’s history with more. pic.twitter.com/idDqKcUsp4
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 22, 2022
Klopp brought Salah on as a late substitute against Wolves, with his 23rd Premier League goal of the campaign securing a joint Golden Boot win alongside Son Heung-min, and he will start in Paris.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk was also removed as a precaution in extra-time against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues with the Dutch defender struggling with a muscle issue.
Again Klopp has optional for caution over his star defender, with Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez rotating in as Joel Matip’s partner against Southampton and Wolves, but he returned to the matchday squad on the final day and he will join Salah in the starting XI.
Gomez is Klopp’s fourth choice center-back ahead of the final but the England international faces a fitness battle in the coming days.
He was forced off at half-time against Southampton on May 17, and despite a scan confirming no major damage, a severe ankle knock could force him out, with Klopp set to make a decision before the squad fly to France.
Fans favorite Origi has already been ruled out by Klopp after injuring his thigh in training ahead of the Wolves game.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) May 22, 2022
The Belgian international has achieved cult status at Anfield, with some iconic Champions League goals down the years, but he looks certain to have played his last game for the club with his contract expiring next month.