Tite will rotate his Brazil squad for their final Group G match, but opponents Cameroon still face an uphill battle to make the last 16 of the World Cup.

Brazil are already through to the knockout stage and will top the pool unless they lose and Switzerland win with a significant goal swing.

Opponents Cameroon have plenty still to play for, on the other hand, as they must win to have any hope of reaching the second round for the first time since 1990.

They have never won their final group game at a finals, however, while Brazil are unbeaten at this stage in a record 17 matches.

And the Selecao have their own goals in mind, looking to take nine points from a possible nine for the first time since 2006.

"Being first is always the goal, regardless of who the opponent is in the next match," said Fabinho, one of the men set to come into the XI.

"Our focus is always to win the games, try to earn nine points and give our best. 

"Whoever will play will have the opportunity to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national team in a World Cup, so the thought of a winning team has to always be this, to enter, give the best, win and be the first."

 

Tite's first-choice stars have set a high standard, winning both games without conceding or even facing a single shot on target. They are the first team not to face a shot on target in their first two games at a World Cup since France in 1998.

"Personally, I don't think [maintaining the standard] brings pressure to us," added Fabinho. "I think playing in a World Cup is every player's dream. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

"We have to face this with great joy, knowing the responsibility, come in and give our best. We know the way the team plays, the team is solid defensively.

"Sure, you have the worries of keeping that, the ideas, but I don't think it adds pressure. We don't feel that."

Cameroon have lost only two World Cup matches to South American teams, but both have been in their two meetings with Brazil, who have won all seven of their finals clashes with African opposition, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cameroon – Vincent Aboubakar

Aboubakar has twice appeared from the bench, yet he could hardly have done more to earn a starting berth. Against Serbia, he became the first substitute to both score and assist a goal in a World Cup match for an African nation, bringing Cameroon back from 3-1 down to 3-3 within 11 minutes of his introduction.

Brazil – Vinicius Junior

The Selecao may not need to risk playing Vinicius, with Neymar already injured, but it must be tough not to pick a man in this form. Only Kylian Mbappe (23) was involved in more open play sequences that ended with a shot than the winger (15) through two matchdays. Only Mbappe and Ismaila Sarr (four) created more chances following a carry (three).

PREDICTION

Even with the potential for changes in the Brazil XI, the supercomputer has no doubts about this one. Tite's men are massive 72.7 per cent favourites.

Cameroon must win but are given only a 10.6 per cent chance, with a draw that would confirm Brazil as group winners rated at 16.7 per cent.

Jurgen Klopp does not know how the protocol around concussions in football can be improved, but he is sure temporary substitutions are not the answer.

The issue of head injuries has come to prominence again in the past week, most notably after Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez initially played on in the 4-0 defeat to Newcastle United having collided with Tyrone Mings' knee.

Liverpool themselves had to use a concussion substitute – a sixth permanent change, which also grants the opposition another switch – in the Champions League win over Napoli in midweek.

James Milner went down early in the second half, having previously thought, like Martinez, he would be able to continue.

The idea of a temporary substitution, giving medical professionals further time to assess potential concussions, has been floated as a possible solution.

But Klopp, speaking in his news conference on Friday, pointed out the signs of some injuries can be delayed so long players would still be allowed to return to the pitch with a concussion.

"What else shall we do? I know you say 'temporary subs'; I am fine with the concussion sub, absolutely fine," he said before Sunday's match against Tottenham.

"Take him off and bring another player – it means you can still change five times after that, and the other team has an extra sub. I think that's the best we can do.

"You say it takes quite a while between getting the concussion and it really kicking in; I'm not sure then 15 minutes is really the time to wait for it.

"People will tell you after an hour it kicks in. I think how we do it is the right way.

"And it doesn't happen that often, to be 100 per cent honest. I can't remember one before [at Liverpool]. It was the first time with the way Milly got hit, but when did we have a concussion before? I can't remember it.

"We can talk about it like it happens all the time and the boys are constantly in danger. They are not. They are well-trained athletes and it doesn't happen that often.

"But if it happens, we have a solution for it, which is much better than ever before in football's history.

"Is there space for improvement? Probably, but I don't know how."

Milner will not play against Spurs but can return to non-contact training on Monday and a full session on Tuesday "if everything goes well".

Liverpool are at least boosted by Jordan Henderson's recovery from injury and Fabinho's return to form against Napoli.

"The game was a clear sign of Fabinho how we know him," Klopp said of his struggling star. "It was a good game and we defended in all positions on a different level to the week before. It felt good.

"For him, it was very important to realise that that's possible. It was a good start in the right direction."

Fabinho says Liverpool's showdown with Premier League leaders Arsenal will provide a great opportunity for the Reds to "get our confidence back" as they look to improve their recent form.

Jurgen Klopp's side have endured a slow start to the Premier League season and are already 11 points behind the Gunners after their opening seven games.

The trip to the Emirates is the third of nine matches that Liverpool will play across all competitions in October, while they welcome reigning champions Manchester City to Anfield next weekend.

And with games coming thick and fast, Fabinho has called for focus from his team-mates as they look to build momentum and embark on a run of positive results.

"[The] Emirates is a nice place to play and Arsenal, of course, are in a really good moment right now, playing really well, winning their games, top of the league," the Brazil international told Liverpool's official website.

"It's a good opportunity for us as well to show that we are Liverpool, we are still one of the best teams in this league. So, it's a good opportunity for us to get the three points and to close the gap on these teams as well.

"I always say that this is the moment every player likes; playing every three or four days. Different competitions to play – Champions League, Premier League – so a lot of big games to play.

"In the league, our next two games are against maybe the better two teams at the moment, Arsenal and Man City. So, what an opportunity for us to play against these teams, to play these kind of games to get our confidence back.

"This moment is not good, and it's not easy when we know you can do better, you can play better, you can win more and more games. We just have to keep focused, keep concentrating, try our best to turn this situation."

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho believes his Brazil team-mate Fred has come in for an unfair share of heavy criticism amid Manchester United's recent struggles.

The Red Devils are second bottom of the embryonic Premier League table after losing their opening two matches.

Having been outplayed in a 2-1 home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion, United were thrashed 4-0 at Brentford on a chastening day for new boss Erik ten Hag.

Fred has long come in for criticism from United fans and that has only increased after the club's dismal start to the season.

He and Fabinho are likely to come up against each other when Liverpool visit Old Trafford on Monday, and Fabinho thinks his compatriot deserves more respect from United supporters.

"Sometimes I don't really understand the criticism of Fred because he is a regular player, he always plays good football," Fabinho said in the Telegraph.

"In general Manchester United have not been successful in the last seasons so you try to find a solution or you try to put the fault on some of the players and sometimes I think Fred is that player.

"But he is a good player. In the national team, he is always a starter, he always plays good and, yes, sometimes the player needs a little bit more confidence to play good.

"Last season he played really good football, maybe he was one of the best United players. This season United didn't start really good but I hope Fred will play good and United will stay playing like this."

Fred will soon be joined at United by another Brazil international after the Red Devils announced on Friday they had agreed a deal with Real Madrid for the transfer of Casemiro.

Fabinho played with Casemiro for Madrid's second team 10 years ago and believes the 30-year-old is well equipped to deal with the demands of English football.

"Of course, he will be a good signing," Fabinho said. "Casemiro is a smart guy, he is a good player, he is strong, he is good in the air, so it will not be hard for him to adapt to the Premier League."

Virgil van Dijk told Darwin Nunez to get his "head down, work and be important" for Liverpool after the striker's decisive cameo performance against Manchester City.

Nunez came on with just under an hour played in Saturday's Community Shield clash between the Premier League champions and the FA Cup winners.

He made a telling impact, winning a penalty when his header struck the arm of Ruben Dias to enable Liverpool to restore their lead through Mohamed Salah after Julian Alvarez had cancelled out Trent Alexander-Arnold's opener.

Nunez, signed from Benfica for a fee of £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m (€25m) in potential add-ons, capped off a 3-1 triumph for Jurgen Klopp's side with a header late in stoppage time.

The 23-year-old had been the target of criticism and social media jibes following some sloppy performances early in pre-season, though Nunez scored four in a 5-0 rout of RB Leipzig last week and slotted in seamlessly to Liverpool's attack at the King Power Stadium.

Van Dijk shrugged off the criticism of his new team-mate, who the defender explained is already an important player in Liverpool's squad following the departure of club great Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.

"He's important. He's difficult to play against and hopefully he can show it for the rest of the season," Van Dijk told reporters.

"We all help him in some ways and make sure that he's comfortable, he's calm and just work, and don't focus on what the outside world has to say because everyone has to say something these days. So head down, work and be important for the club.

"I don't speak Spanish, so I'm not saying anything to him at the moment, but we have plenty of Spanish speakers in the team and I know for a fact that they help him, and I don't see anything that bothers him at the moment.

"But we will see, everyone has something to say because there are so platforms to do it. So it can hit you but it shouldn't. Just enjoy your game, enjoy the group, enjoy the club, because we are very blessed to be able to play for Liverpool."

It was a sentiment echoed by midfielder Fabinho, who himself took time to settle into the Premier League following a move from Monaco in 2018.

He said: "We saw he's getting better from the first game of the pre-season. He did really well for the team.

"We've had three weeks of training, so now he knows the way we play a little bit. We are learning the way he plays a little bit more.

"We know he is fast, he's strong and he's a proper number nine. He will be in the box, it looks like the ball follows him, he will always get the chance to score.

"So yeah, I think it's really important for him to score in the first official game in a Liverpool shirt. He will be very important for us this season."

Liverpool's victory marked their first Community Shield triumph under Klopp, at the third time of asking.

Including occasions when the trophy was shared, only Manchester United (21) have won the trophy more times than the Reds (16), whose performance delivered a message to rivals City ahead of the new campaign.

Van Dijk, though, knows using the Community Shield display to predict how Liverpool's season could go would be foolish.

"We can't look to the future," the centre-back added. "It's a boring answer but we knew that, for example, two years ago we had so many injuries, those are part of football as well.

"We are focussing game by game. Hopefully it will be a successful season, better than last season. We are excited to crack on, and we will see what the year brings."

Fabinho has backed Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz to step up in Sadio Mane's absence for Liverpool, though he acknowledged the Uruguay striker may need time to adapt to the Premier League.

Liverpool narrowly missed out on a historic quadruple last term, winning both domestic cups but finishing as runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League as Mane scored 23 goals in all competitions.

The off-season has seen Jurgen Klopp remould his attack after Mane left for Bayern Munich, signing Nunez from Benfica in a deal potentially worth up to £85million (€100.5m), while Diaz made a positive impact after joining from Porto in January.

While Fabinho acknowledged Mane is a "big loss" for Liverpool, he remains confident the Reds' new-look attack will fire them into contention for more silverware next campaign.

"Darwin may need a bit of time to adapt, let's see, but a player like him can really change a team," Fabinho told the Athletic.

"He's a proper number nine. He's a goalscorer. He scored in both games against us in the Champions League. We know how good he is. 

"Even though we lost Sadio, I still believe that we can fight for everything. The team is still really strong.

"For a long time it was always Sadio on the left side. But we have Luis on the left side and we saw how well he played in the second half of last season. Luis will become increasingly important.

"At the end of the season, I spoke a lot with Sadio. He told me about the situation that he could leave. I was always saying to him, 'come on Sadio, stay here. You can win the Premier League and the Champions League right here, don't leave'. But I think he had already made his mind up. We had to respect that.

"Sadio had a really good story in a Liverpool shirt. He played for six years here and during that time he won everything you can win and he decided that he wanted a new challenge. That's okay.

"After the parade in Liverpool, everyone said goodbye to him. We knew there was a good chance he would be leaving. I always kept some hope that he would still stay but then it was all confirmed.

"Losing Sadio is a big loss. He was one of our best players but it's something that we can't change. We have to deal with it. Now other players have to step up and take on greater responsibility."

Next season will also see Fabinho assume a key role as Brazil look to end a 20-year wait for a World Cup win in Qatar, with the Selecao beginning their campaign against Serbia on November 24. 

And the midfield enforcer admitted ending his nation's long drought is in his thoughts as he suggested the timing of the tournament could be a positive for players.

"For us as players, I actually think it's good for us that the World Cup will be in November and December," he added. "Maybe around that time of year, we'll be in our best shape of the season.

"One of my big targets for the season is to play in the World Cup and try to win it for my country. 

"It's been 20 years since Brazil last won the World Cup and the people at home want so much for us to win it for the sixth time.

"I'm focused on giving my maximum to play a good season for Liverpool but I can't lie, the World Cup is also in my thoughts."

Fabinho thinks Mohamed Salah could go on to be regarded as one of the greatest players to ever pull on a Liverpool jersey after signing a new contract.

Salah ended speculation around his future by agreeing a new three-year deal on July 1 – the Egypt forward only had 12 months remaining on his previous deal with the Reds and could have departed as a free agent after the 2022-23 season.

That would have been a significant blow for Liverpool considering Salah's impact since joining from Roma in 2017.

The 30-year-old has made 254 appearances for the Reds and scored 156 goals, assisting 58 more.

Those 156 goals rank Salah ninth on the list of Liverpool's record scorers, while his Premier League goal involvements tally of 164 is third only to Robert Lewandowski (184) and Lionel Messi (200) among players from Europe's big five leagues since August 2017.

He has played a vital role in Liverpool winning six trophies since his arrival, including the Reds' first Premier League crown and a Champions League title, but Fabinho is convinced there could be even more to come from Salah.

Speaking in Bangkok on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Manchester United, Fabinho said: "We are really happy for [Salah], happy to see him playing for Liverpool.

"He's already a Liverpool legend, but I think he can be one of the best Liverpool players in the history of this club.

"So I'm happy for him, for sure he will continue to score goals and play his best football because he is really important for us."

While pre-season friendlies might be considered of little importance to the average supporter, Harvey Elliott is fully aware of how crucial they could be to him.

The 19-year-old enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Blackburn Rovers in the Championship in 2020-21 and looked set for a prominent role in the first team upon his return.

But a dislocated ankle suffered against Leeds United in September kept Elliott out until February, and while he was able to take part in the final three months of the season, he freely admits he was not himself.

The England Under-21 international's mental state has improved over the off-season, however, and he is eager to make the most of pre-season.

He said: "It's easy to sort of get overwhelmed by the injury and come back, and you keep thinking about it and not feel comfortable and confident and stuff like that, and I think towards the end of the season, I did a little bit, because my form wasn't really there, and I wasn't really myself in training sessions just because I was a bit worried.

"So, I mean, now I feel 100 per cent, that the line has gone through last season. This season is a new one, new achievements to be reached and new goals to be reached as well.

"So I'm just looking forward to it and making sure, as I said, I'm in the best possible position to go out.

"I'll put myself out there to the manager, to the coaching team, to the players that, I'm still here, and I'm still able to play for the team. I'm still able to give my 100 per cent focus and committing to the team."

June 30, 2002, Yokohama. Ronaldo pounces on Rivaldo's dummy to side-foot past Germany's Oliver Kahn, becoming just the ninth man to score twice in a World Cup final and making Brazil champions of the world.

That moment, the pinnacle of the legendary forward's career, remains unmatched to this day for the Selecao, with Brazil failing to add to their five World Cup crowns in the subsequent two decades.

Should Brazil fall short of glory in Qatar later this year, that drought will stretch to at least 24 years, matching their longest wait for World Cup glory since their maiden title in 1958 (also between 1970 and 1994).

For a country whose hopes have been entrusted to such footballing icons as Ronaldinho, Kaka and Neymar in subsequent years, such a drought seems inexplicable, with three quarter-final exits and one historic semi-final humiliation the sum of their efforts since 2002. 

Exactly 20 years on from Brazil's triumph in Japan and South Korea, Stats Perform looks back on that momentous success, questions why it is yet to be repeated, and asks whether Tite's class of 2022 are equipped to bring glory to one of the world's most football-mad nations.

2002: Irresistible Ronaldo fires Selecao to glory in Japan and South Korea

It is no exaggeration to say Brazil's last World Cup win was one of the most impressive triumphs in the competition's history.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's men went from strength to strength after requiring a late Rivaldo penalty to edge a tense opener against eventual third-placed finishers Turkey, winning all seven of their games by an aggregate score of 18-4.

The class of 2002 thus hold the record for the most games won by a nation at a single World Cup, with Ronaldo – coming off an injury-blighted four seasons at Inter in which he managed just 36 Serie A appearances – the star of the show.

Partnering Rivaldo and supplied by Paris Saint-Germain's breakout star Ronaldinho, O Fenomeno netted eight goals across the tournament, the joint-most of any Brazilian at a single World Cup and the highest tally of anyone since West Germany's Gerd Muller struck 10 times in 1970.

 

Ronaldo's 19 shots on target in the tournament has not been matched in any subsequent World Cup, while his total of 34 attempts was more than five different nations managed. 

Quarter-final opponents England, vanquished when Ronaldinho audaciously (perhaps fortuitously) lobbed David Seaman from long-range, were the only side to keep Ronaldo out as he took the competition by storm.

A 25-year-old Ronaldo's final double against Germany represented his 44th and 45th international goals in just his 64th Brazil appearance. He managed just 17 further strikes in the famous yellow shirt during his career.

There was nothing in the 2002 squad's make-up to suggest a long wait for further tournament success was imminent: The experienced Cafu (31 in 2002) and Roberto Carlos (29) were still around in 2006, while future Ballon d'Or winners Ronaldinho (22) and Kaka (20) had their whole careers ahead of them.

How, then, did one of the greatest sides in modern international history contrive to fall so far short in subsequent World Cups?

 

2006-2010: Zidane and Sneijder sparkle as drab Brazil fall short

Brazil looked set for another shot at glory in Germany in 2006. Ronaldinho was crowned the world's best player in 2005; Kaka was to follow in his footsteps in 2007; and Ronaldo had hit a century of goals in his first four seasons with Real Madrid.

Brazil conceded just once in group-stage clashes with Croatia, Australia and Japan before crushing Ghana 3-0 in the last 16, but with Carlos Alberto Parreira cramming his three attacking stars into a rigid 4-4-2 shape, it was France who more closely resembled the Brazil sides of old in the last eight. 

Zinedine Zidane's performance in Frankfurt stands as one of the finest in the competition's history, as he tormented the defending champions' flat midfield before assisting Thierry Henry's winner.

It was the first of two masterful midfield displays to end the World Cup hopes of drab Brazil teams, with Wesley Sneijder assuming Zidane's role as the Netherlands vanquished Dunga's men in South Africa in 2010.

Progressing from the group stages has not been an issue for Brazil. Astonishingly, they are unbeaten in their last 15 group games, last suffering a first-stage defeat against Norway in 1998.

A lack of tactical nous against the world's best, however, has been a legitimate charge, and an understandable one given the identities of some of their head coaches.

Parreira's one Brazilian top-flight title was won way back in 1984, while Dunga's only club-level experience remains, to this day, a dire 2013 campaign with Internacional.

In that context, the return of Scolari, the emergence of Neymar and a home World Cup lifted expectations to monumental levels by 2014, when Brazilian dreams were to be shattered in the most incredible manner imaginable.

2014-2018: Home humiliation and Neymar reliance see Brazilian woes continue

The 2014 World Cup was billed as a festival of football, lit up by jubilant Brazilian crowds and thrilling football – the 171 goals scored across the tournament are the joint-most on record, alongside 1998.

Sadly for Brazil, eventual winners Germany provided 18 of those, with seven coming in a scarcely believable semi-final rout at the Mineirao.

Having gone 5-0 down within 29 minutes in the absence of Neymar and Thiago Silva, Scolari's men collapsed to arguably the greatest humiliation in World Cup history and, as almost goes without saying, the heaviest semi-final defeat the tournament has ever seen.

Only when Yugoslavia faced Zaire in 1974 had a side previously been 5-0 up after 29 minutes at a World Cup, but for all the excitement building around the host nation, Brazil's class of 2014 always appeared flawed.

An over-reliance on Neymar – cruelly sidelined by a dreadful quarter-final challenge from Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga – was clear in both 2014 and 2018, when Brazil fell to a 2-1 defeat to a Kevin De Bruyne-inspired Belgium in Russia.

 

Across those two tournaments, Neymar's six goals and two assists saw him directly involved in 42 per cent of Brazil's goals.

Fluminense striker Fred, ridiculed by many for his performances in 2014, wasn't exactly up to the task of replacing his goal threat, while Gabriel Jesus failed to find the net despite starting every match under Tite in 2018.

Indeed, coming into the 2018 tournament, Neymar – with 55 goals in 85 caps, was the only player in the Brazil squad to have scored more than 12 international goals.

Having achieved the rare feat of holding onto his job after leading Brazil at a World Cup, Tite will hope the emergence of several other stars lessens the burden on his number 10 this time around.

The road to Qatar: Can the class of 2022 end World Cup drought? 

Assuming he remains in charge when they face Serbia on November 24, Tite will become the first coach to lead Brazil at back-to-back World Cups since Tele Santana in 1982 and 1986.

While neither of Santana's campaigns ended in glory, the current boss – a Copa Libertadores and FIFA Club World Cup winner – will hope his six years moulding the side will prove invaluable in Qatar.

Brazil have already ended one mini trophy drought under his watch, winning a first Copa America title in 12 years on home soil in 2019 before finishing as runners-up to Argentina two years later.

Most impressively, Brazil triumphed without the injured Neymar in 2019 as Everton Soares top-scored, and the form of a series of Selecao stars has given Tite enviable squad depth.

In Allison and Ederson, he can choose between arguably the top two goalkeepers in the Premier League, while Fabinho was crucial as Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool fell narrowly short of a historic quadruple last term.

Casemiro, who won his fifth Champions League title with Madrid in May, could partner him in a fearsome midfield duo, but most of the excitement is centred on his club team-mate Vinicius Junior, whose 22 goals and 16 assists for Los Blancos last term suggest he can be the man to dovetail with Neymar.

 

After landing an appealing group-stage draw alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon, the excitement around Brazil is building once more.

With the Selecao topping the FIFA World Rankings, having fairly recent a Copa America win under their belts and possessing some of European football's most-effective players, 2022 seems as good a time as any for Brazil to end 20 years of disappointment and bring 'o Jogo Bonito' to the world once more.

Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho were included in Liverpool's starting line-up for Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Fabinho had not played since the win over Aston Villa on May 10 due to a hamstring injury, while midfield colleague Thiago also damaged a hamstring against Wolves last week.

Manager Jurgen Klopp initially appeared to rule Thiago out of the Stade de France showpiece, but the Spain international – as well as Fabinho – returned to training earlier this week.

The pair were included from the beginning against Madrid, with Klopp making three changes from the 3-1 win against Wolves.

Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, rested last week with an eye on the Madrid clash, were recalled to the XI along with fit-again Thiago.

Jordan Henderson was named in the side for his 57th appearance of the campaign – the most of any player from Europe’s top five leagues this campaign – while it was also his 50th Champions League appearance, making him the fourth English player to hit that milestone for Liverpool.

There were no surprises in Klopp’s line-up, with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold named in the full-back spots, the latter surpassing Thomas Muller (23 years, 254 days) as the youngest player to start three Champions League finals. Alexander-Arnold featured in this game at the age of 23 years and 233 days.

Saturday's contest marked the third time Liverpool and Madrid had met in a European Cup or Champions League final, making it the most contested trophy match between two sides in the history of the competition.

Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Diaz, Salah, Mane.

Subs: Kelleher, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Jota, Tsimikas, Matip, Elliott.

Pele expects to enjoy a strong Brazilian flavour to the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, but asked on Friday night: "Am I the only one excited?"

The three-time World Cup winner, still considered by many the greatest player in history, pointed to the strong presence of players from the Selecao set to be on show at the Stade de France in Paris.

He noted how Madrid have Vinicius Junior and Casemiro in their ranks, while also suggesting Alisson and Fabinho could have crucial roles for Liverpool in the showpiece match.

Pele could have also mentioned Madrid's Marcelo, Eder Militao and semi-final comeback hero Rodrygo, who scored twice at the death in the second leg against Manchester City to rescue a seemingly lost cause.

Their Brazilian influence is strong, while Liverpool can also point to forward Roberto Firmino in their squad.

Pele wrote on Instagram: "I want to see a great final between @realmadrid and @liverpoolfc tomorrow. My friends @vinijr and @casemiro will have a tough challenge against @alissonbecker and @fabinho. Am I the only one excited about tomorrow's match? I'm sure not!"

The 81-year-old Pele has been battling ill health in recent times, undergoing treatment for colon cancer. He recently said he managed to find "peace" in the company of his wife Marcia and dog Cacau.

"Treatment is difficult, but feeling their love is the best medicine," Pele said.

Jurgen Klopp is expecting both Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho to be fit to feature for Liverpool in Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

The two key midfielders were doubts for the Reds heading to Paris this week.

Thiago hobbled out of the final match of the Premier League season against Wolves with a calf injury, while a hamstring complaint means Fabinho has not played since the win at Aston Villa on May 10.

However, Klopp offered a positive update in his pre-match news conference on Friday.

"The mood is good, very good," the Liverpool manager said. "We're really excited about being here now, getting a feeling of the stadium, the location. That's all good.

"It looks good for both Thiago and Fabinho. Fabinho trained completely normal; Thiago trained yesterday with the team, will train today, and then we will go from there."

Liverpool are unbeaten in the nine games they have played this season without either Thiago or Fabinho in the starting XI, although they have drawn three of those matches.

The pair have appeared together in the line-up 20 times in 2021-22, contributing to an outstanding 17 wins.

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho resumed training on Wednesday in a boost for Jurgen Klopp ahead of the Champions League final.

The Premier League side take on Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday for the biggest prize in European club football, but it was feared Klopp could be without two of his key midfielders.

Thiago Alcantara remained absent from the AXA Training Centre after suffering an Achilles injury in Sunday's win over Wolves, but Fabinho – who has not played since sustaining a muscle strain at Aston Villa two weeks ago – was in attendance and appeared to take part in full training.

Klopp had previously expressed confidence that the Brazil international will be fit for the final.

Liverpool have had a slightly better win percentage this season in all competitions with Fabinho in the side (74.5 per cent with, 73.3 per cent without) and have conceded marginally fewer goals on average (0.7 per game with, 0.9 per game without).

Joe Gomez, who came off injured with an ankle issue in the win at Villa, was also back in training but is unlikely to feature from the off at the Stade de France having made just 11 starts for the Reds in all competitions this season.

Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk have been named among the substitutes for Liverpool's final game of the Premier League season against Wolves at Anfield.

The Reds need to win and hope Manchester City drop points against Aston Villa in order to win the title on the final day – otherwise Pep Guardiola's men will be champions once again.

Divock Origi misses out with a muscle injury in what would have been his final home appearance for Liverpool, with the striker leaving the club at the end of the season, reportedly on his way to Milan.

Salah and Van Dijk both suffered injuries in last week's FA Cup final win against Chelsea, although manager Jurgen Klopp indicated his confidence that both would be fit for next week's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Klopp said on Friday both would be in contention against Wolves, along with Fabinho, but none of the trio make the starting XI. Fabinho, injured at Aston Villa before the cup final, misses out completely.

Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip continue to pair up in defence, while Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita make up the three-man midfield. James Milner – out of contract as things stand – is on the bench.

Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane start in attack, with Liverpool looking to end the season undefeated at home.

With Son Heung-min only a goal behind Salah in the Golden Boot race, Liverpool's talisman will hope to appear at some stage.

Jurgen Klopp understands Mohamed Salah would be keen to play on the final day of the Premier League season and clinch the Golden Boot, but neither Liverpool nor the player are willing to take any risks with his fitness.

Salah sustained a groin injury in Liverpool's FA Cup final win over Chelsea last weekend and missed the midweek victory at Southampton that keeps the Reds in contention for the title.

There could yet be a double celebration for Klopp's men on Sunday, with City only one point ahead while Salah (22 goals) narrowly leads Son Heung-min (21) in the scoring charts.

But given Liverpool also have the Champions League final against Real Madrid to consider the final week, they have to be sure Salah is fit to play.

The winger – who has been nominated for the PFA Fans' Player of the Year, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Conor Gallagher and Declan Rice – is not the cup winners' only injury concern either.

Virgil van Dijk (knee) was also injured at Wembley, while Fabinho (hamstring) hobbled out of the prior match against Aston Villa. Joe Gomez, who has a history of serious injuries, had an ankle problem at Southampton.

"Joe has good news," Klopp said ahead of Sunday's match against Wolves. "We want a reassuring further scan, but the first was like he and we thought after the game – we were lucky.

"It was a proper knock, but nothing happened. It's the leg where he was injured, so I understand 100 per cent everyone was concerned; I was, until I saw Joe's face in the dressing room, because most of the time we know best about our body.

"The result of this [second] scan is not here yet, but we don't expect anything really different. It's just about reassuring it's all fine.

"And then from there, we go. If it's fine, then it's about pain: how can he deal with pain? We'll see what Joe can do today or tomorrow, but I don't know at the moment.

"With the other boys, it looks all good. What we do with them at the weekend, I have no idea.

"I understand 100 per cent the goalscoring battle with Son Heung-min, but there is no chance we take any risk; Mo doesn't want to take any risk, there's no doubt about that.

"But it looks good, the boys made steps. We will see.

"My preferred solution would be they all could play at the weekend, for rhythm reasons, stuff like this, or at least could be on the bench and we could bring them on or not. But if not, then we take it from there. I cannot say 100 per cent."

Fabinho will definitely be back available for Liverpool's Champions League final against Real Madrid, manager Jurgen Klopp has said.

The Reds were dealt a huge blow ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea with the news that the Brazil international has been ruled out with a muscular injury.

Fabinho was forced off during the first half of Tuesday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa and will not return in time for this weekend's trip to Wembley.

However, providing a further update at his pre-Chelsea news conference on Friday, Klopp confirmed the 28-year-old will be available to face Madrid in Paris on May 28.

"He will definitely be back for the Champions League final," Klopp said. "Whether he will play before that, we don't yet know.

"Fab is a professional. He was obviously not happy about missing the Chelsea match, but he took it and is already taking on the fight against time, if you want. That's how it is.

“It is not enough if you are ready on Friday before the final, it should be Tuesday or Wednesday or something like that and we are working on that.

"We are all very positive that it will be the case. So he is absolutely OK."

Liverpool have lost just three of the 47 games that Fabinho has played in this season, conceding 0.7 goals per game compared to 0.9 in the 12 matches he has not featured.

Jordan Henderson is likely to return to central midfield alongside Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for the clash with Chelsea, and Klopp has full confidence others can step up.

"If all the other boys didn't show the attitude they have had in training all season, we'd have had no chance this season," he said. That's been very important."

Liverpool are competing in their first FA Cup final since 2011-12 when losing 2-1 to Chelsea, with the most recent of their seven triumphs in the competition coming in 2006.

The Reds have already lifted one cup at the national stadium this year, though, having overcome Chelsea on penalties following a goalless draw in February's EFL Cup final.

Klopp's side are therefore looking to win both of England's domestic cup competitions in the same season for the first time since 2000-01, when also winning the UEFA Cup.

"We didn't 'beat' Chelsea. We won the penalty shoot-out," Klopp said. "I've said a few times, without luck you have no chance, and luck was on our side that day.

"It was a tough, tight game and we know how good Chelsea are and we expect another tough game.

"Both teams will go for all they have. That's what I expect from Chelsea and that's what I especially expect from us this time.

"It's the biggest domestic cup competition in the world. I haven't watched 20 FA Cup finals but I don't think that's necessary to understand how big it is.

"We are really looking forward to this opportunity. The boys worked their socks off to arrive here, with all the different challenges over the year.

"It's now a massive final for us and I'm really happy we are part of it. We always gave our all to arrive to the final [in previous years], we just didn't make it."

The three previous meetings between Liverpool and Chelsea this season have finished level and Klopp is anticipating another tight contest against Thomas Tuchel's side.

"Chelsea are a really well-coached team. They have a similar system to others but a different level," he said.

"They have an idea for all areas. They're organised defensively and offensively, with incredible talent. We have no idea how Thomas will line up. There are so many options."

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