Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been ruled out of Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.

The Brazil international has missed the last two matches with a groin injury and will not have recovered in time for the weekend.

Fellow forward Diogo Jota still faces a race against time to be fit after ankle ligament damage last week.

"Bobby won't be available for the final. So far no reaction on the things he has done, the straight line running, change of direction and the ball work he has done," said assistant manager Pep Lijnders.

"That's a good sign. He isn't ruled out but it still will be a challenge."

In the blue corner, Thomas Tuchel has admitted he's tempted to throw fit-again Reece James straight into the lineup.

The England wing-back, who twice scored the winning penalty in shoot-outs on the way to the final, has finally beaten the hamstring tear that has kept him sidelined since Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge on 29 December.

Chelsea can boast a fully-fit squad for Sunday's League Cup clash with Liverpool barring long-term absentee Ben Chilwell, with Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic fully shaking off their injury worries.

Tuchel hailed James' impressive return to Chelsea training, revealing the 22-year-old has been so strong so quickly as to push his way into Sunday's selection picture.

Asked if James could be ready for action at Wembley, Tuchel replied: "That's a very, very good question. Even if I wanted to, I'm not sure if I could answer your question right now.

"He looked brilliant in the last two training sessions, let's wait another session, and then let's see if I'm crazy enough to just put him on the pitch or if the reasonable side of me wins in the end and we go for step by step.

"It would be a huge step, but honestly yesterday and today he looked so strong, so confident, and so, so involved in training that you are tempted to do it.

"Let's see, we have a little bit of time, and the most important (thing) for him and for us is that he's back and that he feels so confident that he can step up to the kind of level he did yesterday and today.

"There's still two days to go, and then we will take the decision."

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