Monday, June 27, 2022

Champions League final, Liverpool injury news: Optimism building over Thiago Alcantara availability

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PARIS — Liverpool were conducting final tests on the fitness of Thiago Alcantara on Saturday morning as hopes rise that he will be able to play some part in the Champions League final, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET on Paramount+ and CBS.

The Spanish midfielder, one of the stand out performers in Liverpool’s run to the Stade de France showpiece, was able to play an almost full role in Friday’s pre-match training session in Saint Denis. The Spanish midfielder picked up an injury in the final Premier League match of the season but avoided the major damage to his Achilles that had initially been feared.

In front of the world’s media Thiago showed little sign of any major issue in Liverpool’s open training session Friday night and looked in sprightly pace as Jurgen Klopp and his side put their players through high pace rondos. The 31 year old briefly left the session for a conversation with club physios but was able to return and complete his preparations for the final.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference Jurgen Klopp offered an optimistic assessment of the fitness not just of Thiago but Fabinho, who had returned to training earlier this week after shaking off a thigh issue that had sidelined him for a fortnight. “Looks good for both,” said the Liverpool manager. “Fabinho trained completely normal. Thiago trained yesterday with the team, will train today and then we go from there.”

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With Joe Gomez also available for selection Liverpool head into the final missing only Divock Origi from their squad. The Belgian international, who is set to join AC Milan when his contract expires at the end of next month, picked up an injury “in the last second of the last session” before the final Premier League game of the season, a win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Real Madrid also head into the game without any major injury fears, David Alaba having shaken off an adductor issue to make himself available. Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday night that he had already decided on his starting XI, in which the most likely position of contention is whether Federico Valverde or Rodrygo starts on the right wing.

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