Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita could be key to our success against Sheffield United.

The Reds host this year’s Premier League overachievers at Anfield on Thursday evening.

Chris Wilder’s men will be hoping to spring an upset, as they nearly did in the reverse fixture.

Liverpool will need Keita in fine form to ensure that doesn’t happen.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The 24-year-old midfielder was smartly rested by Jurgen Klopp against Wolves. A hectic Christmas fixture list has brought the best out of Keita. He has shone throughout December and is finally playing how Liverpool fans had expected. Against Leicester he was pivotal to everything we did well.

 

Despite coming off whilst the score was still 1-0, he played a huge part. By that point he had exhausted Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans in the Leicester midfield. The Reds will need another big performance from the Guinea international during our first game of 2020. Keita will be the freshest player on the pitch, and he’ll need to look it against ‘The Blades’.

Sheffield United don’t have the luxury of resting their best players. They’ll likely line up with the same midfield trio which they’ve used all season. John Fleck, Oliver Norwood and John Lundstram will all likely be feeling it after such a busy schedule. Keita can exploit this and dominate the game. Maybe he’ll even get in on the goals again.

If Keita hopes to cement his starting spot in 2020, he only needs to do two things. Firstly, keep scoring goals. He along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the only Liverpool midfielders who are true goal threats. If Keita can keep scoring, he’ll likely keep his place. Secondly and most importantly is his partnership with Mohamed Salah.

The pair have linked up well in December and appear to be forming a fruitful partnership. If that continues he will become undroppable from Klopp’s side. But first he must make use of his added rest by shining against Sheffield Untied on Thursday evening.

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