Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a number of key decisions to make when his Premier League champions return from the international break later this week.
One of the key choices he could make ahead of the weekend’s Merseyside derby clash against Everton could be to alternate to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The decision to make the tactical tweak will have been made more likely following the news that both Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are available for selection ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Goodison Park.
Both midfielders are yet to feature together for Liverpool since the Spaniard joined from Bayern Munich last month.
Thiago could be set to make his full-Liverpool debut with his 45-minute cameo at Stamford Bridge in September currently his only involvement under Klopp so far following his £25 million move from the Bundesliga.
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Henderson meanwhile, is also yet to feature for the Reds since the club-captain sustained a thigh injury during the 2-0 victory against Chelsea.
Despite the midfield duo still yet to play alongside each other, there is a general consensus that both players would be involved in Klopp’s preferred starting line-up.
Henderson was Liverpool’s outstanding player during their procession to the title last season while Thiago gave a timely reminder he is among the world’s best players following his Champions League triumph last season.
Fabinho could complete a midfield triumvirate alongside the aforementioned duo although Klopp could be tempted for the Brazilian to move into defence to solidify a defensive quartet that shipped seven goals in their previous PL outing.
Against Chelsea, when utilised in defence, Fabinho was utterly imperious against the Blues making more tackles (4) and interceptions (4) than any player on the pitch.
Fabinho’s defensive nous also enabled Thiago to thrive in midfield during last month’s victory against Chelsea as the Spaniard set a then-PL record for most recorded passes in a single half (74) according to WhoScored.
It feels as though for the first time this season, Klopp has his three best midfield options ready at his disposal. All three are sure to be involved in some capacity against Liverpool’s rivals across Stanley Park.
Liverpool’s season is entering a big moment, with key Premier League and Champions League matches shortly on the horizon.
The English champions will need to be at their absolute best if they are to topple an Everton side who have made a perfect start to the 2020/21 season and are currently sat top of the league table.
Thiago and Henderson’s pairing together in midfield will allow Liverpool to totally dominate the tempo of the match from midfield while the latter’s qualities as captain will come as a much-needed boost following the shambolic performance at Villa Park which was completely inept of any leaders.
Both players are among the top midfielders on the continent so it will be interesting to see how they fare when paired together for the first time.
Liverpool were completely overrun in midfield against Villa and it had catastrophic consequences on Klopp’s attempts to play a defensive high-line. Henderson and Thiago’s involvement would all-but eradicate any future possibilities of Liverpool suffering in-and-out of possession.
Purely based off the 45 minutes we saw at Chelsea, Thiago has to start while Henderson has continuously proven in recent years, he is among the team’s most consistent performers.
Liverpool’s fixtures after the international break
- Everton (A)
October 17 – 12:30pm
- Ajax (A)
October 21 – 8pm
- Sheffield United (H)
October 24 – 8.00pm
- FC Midtjylland (H)
October 27 – 8pm
- West Ham (H)
October 31 – 5.30pm
- Atalanta (A)
November 3- 8:00pm
- Manchester City (A)
November 7 – 3pm