LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Thiago Alcantara warms-up during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago drops out of League Cup final lineup in pre-match injury blow

Minutes before kickoff in the League Cup final, the influential Thiago has been ruled out for Liverpool, forcing Jurgen Klopp into a last-minute change to his lineup.

When the teamsheet was announced just after 3pm on Sunday, the Reds’ lineup was as expected, with a midfield of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson.

However, an issue during the warmup has now ruled Thiago out of contention.

Naby Keita has taken the Spaniard’s place in midfield, while Harvey Elliott – previously not part of the 20-man squad – has stepped up to the bench.

It is a big blow to Liverpool, with Thiago in supreme form of late, and particularly due to its timing, with the announcement coming just 10 minutes before kickoff.

This represents a third change to the side that thrashed Leeds 6-0 in midweek, with Caoimhin Kelleher coming in along with Henderson.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson take their places in defence, while Luis Diaz is given the nod in attack alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Diogo Jota is fit to take a spot on the bench, with no place in the squad for Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones or Adrian.

Roberto Firmino misses out due to injury but travelled to London for the final, as did youngsters Rhys Williams and Kaide Gordon.


LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Joel Matip (L) and Sadio Mané (R) during the pre-match warm-up before the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea: Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic

Subs: Kepa, Sarr, James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku, Werner

Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Diaz, Mane

Subs: Alisson, Tsimikas, Konate, Milner, Elliott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Jota, Origi