Liverpool v Inter Milan: Reds confidence personified by Fabinho ahead of Champions League clash

Midfielder Fabinho is the perfect embodiment of the current confidence levels within Liverpool’s squad on the one year anniversary of their last home defeat.

Liverpool's Fabinho battles with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta during the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Picture: Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Liverpool's Fabinho battles with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta during the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Picture: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Exactly 12 months ago Jurgen Klopp’s side lost to Fulham, their sixth successive home defeat of an injury-ravaged unsuccessful Premier League title defence.

They have not lost at Anfield in 28 subsequent matches – and have been beaten only three times anywhere since then – and the first leg of an unprecedented quadruple has already been secured.

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In winning the Carabao Cup at Wembley eight days ago Fabinho displayed the sort of impudence which was distinctly lacking last March with a cheeky dinked penalty in a shoot-out they won 11-10.

Liverpool's Fabinho scores his side's second penalty in the the Carabao Cup Final against Chelsea at Wembley Picture: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

“The day before, I tried to do a Panenka. It was just me and Luis Diaz, with no goalkeeper in the goal,” said the Brazil international ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg visit of Inter Milan.

“I told him ‘tomorrow if it goes to pens, I will shoot it like this’. He didn’t believe me but when I was walking to the box to take the penalty, it was in my mind to shoot a Panenka. It worked.

“When you shoot a penalty like this, you knowt if you miss, when you come back to the dressing room everyone will kill you. But it was in my mind I would take it like this, and that I could do it.”

In addition to that, Fabinho has recently added goals to his game, with his six this season more than double what he had managed in his three previous seasons.

Part of that is due to Klopp’s tactical switch at set-pieces and he realistically thinks he can get to 10 before the end of the campaign.

“I was always the last man to stop the counter-attack. Now the coach gave me more confidence and put me more in the box and I am scoring goals,” he added.

“It’s good for me and for the team as well. I didn’t think too much about targets but if I can score 10, it would be very good for a defensive midfielder.

“The team scores a lot of goals and when a team scores a lot of goals players like me really have a chance to score as well.”

Forward Roberto Firmino is back in training but may not be considered for tonight but they are set to have Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip back from injury and illness respectively.

Firmino, who has not played since the first meeting with the Italians in mid-February, has been training, but the length of his absence means he will undergo extra assessment.

“All trained yesterday, not sure exactly see how they reacted,” said Klopp.

“Bobby will be fine but we have to see, he was out a longer time, so we have to stress that he might need something else.

“Joel was only three to four days so is fine.”

Firmino’s availability would give Klopp a fully-fit squad to choose from.