Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp expects Chelsea star to make his return in League Cup final
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Chelsea defender Reece James will feature in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final despite Thomas Tuchel’s claiming it would be a “crazy” decision.
Tuchel previously said that James looked “brilliant” in the last two training sessions but was still unsure whether the defender would be ready to play.
Obviously, it remains unclear if the 22-year-old is ready to play in such a big game after a two-month hamstring injury spell.
Klopp, however, thinks that Tuchel will be prepared to take risks in the final.
“Yes, the two games, of course we use them; one is not too long ago,” the Liverpool boss told the club’s official website about analysing the previous encounters with Chelsea ahead of the final.
“But it’s as important how they have played the last few games, it’s very important who is coming back, we probably should expect Reece James being back and all these kind of things.
“Then you still don’t know who will start, because that makes a big difference for Chelsea, who they have available and which system they will play.
“We don’t know this 100 per cent, that’s why analysis is important but focusing on yourself is much more important.
“We have tools to cause each team problems and that’s what we have to be focused on, and I hope that works out.”
James and Ben Chilwell’s absences have had a big impact on Chelsea’s performances in recent months.
The former, in particular, is arguably the only attack-minded right-back in the team, and his absence forced Tuchel to alter his tactics.
Similar to Chelsea, Liverpool tend to push their fullbacks further up the field, and James’ return could help Chelsea exploit possible weakness in this area of the field in the final.