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Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum Face Fitness Race Ahead of Chelsea

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The two key starters might miss out tomorrow from minor knocks.

Liverpool Training Session - UEFA Champions League Final Previews Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Liverpool have slowly been working their way back into full fitness since the midseason injury crisis that saw Fabinho playing as a center back, and Jordan Henderson deployed at right back. There are a few long-term injuries still unlikely to feature, notably Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, but for the most part the squad is in good health.

However, two Reds might miss tomorrow’s clash against ChelseaSadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum.

“Sadio fell on his thumb and didn’t train yesterday,” manager Jurgen Klopp explained in his pre-match press conference. “He should be okay today.

“Gini has a bit of a back problem but will train today.”

Yeah, yeah. Sounds like mind games to me, Kloppo.

As the season has progressed, Klopp has become more and more cryptic about the health of his squad, as well as potential selections. He even name-dropped Alberto Moreno ahead of Porto as a possible replacement for the suspended Andy Robertson (we love you Albi, but you’re no James Milner).

Wijnaldum was rested midweek against Porto, and will very likely feature if fit. Klopp loves him a Gini-Hendo-Milly midfield against a big opponent.

And of course Mane is going to play, probably with a wrapped hand, reminiscent of Luis Suarez.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this showdown with Chelsea tomorrow. The Reds are long overdue for a home win over the London side, and it couldn’t come at a more pivotal point in the season. Klopp will want all hands (thumbs, backs, etc) on deck for this one. And the players will no doubt be looking to play through any minor knocks in order to get on the pitch.