Jurgen Klopp has a series of big decisions to make ahead of the highly-anticipated Merseyside derby tomorrow afternoon.

One of the big decisions still to make is who completes his midfield triumvirate.

Liverpool Training Session - Jurgen Klopp and Thiago Alcantara

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 13: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on October 13, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The Liverpool boss has yet to lay down a marker of his preferred trident in the middle of the park as Saturday will mark the first occasions where the bulk of Klopp’s midfield options – barring Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – are all fit and fighting for places.

Klopp had the majority of his midfield options ready at his disposal against Chelsea last month although a number of defensive injuries required Fabinho to cover at centre-back.

New signing Thiago Alcantara has been limited to just 45 minutes of action since completing his £25 million move from Bayern Munich after the Spanish international tested positive for COVID-19. He has since completed his self-isolation process and is now eligible for selection.

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Also, Jordan Henderson is another who has yet to feature for Liverpool since sustaining a muscle injury during the 2-0 victory at Chelsea. The Reds club-captain has since benefited from appearances for the England national team having clocked up over 75 minutes of action during Nations League fixtures against Belgium and Denmark.

The aforementioned list of midfield options have all yet to start in the same team together this season, and this is something we predict could change at the weekend.

What Liverpool need

Liverpool will still be licking their wounds following their embarrassing 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa before the international break and will be desperate to put matters right. The Reds were totally overwhelmed in midfield at Villa Park and such a lack of authority must be avoided if the champions are to bounce back at Goodison.

For many, a midfield three of Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago is Liverpool’s best triumvirate when everyone is fit and avaialble. Each player provides the team with an alternative quality which could add a sense of unpredictability when the Reds go toe-to-toe with the Premier League table-toppers.

Liverpool’s season is entering a pivotal moment, with key Premier League and Champions League matches approaching.

Klopp will want to ensure that given the number of new signings, an ideal blend and balance is uncovered in midfield and fast. Liverpool cannot afford to go into each match unaware of what their best team is. It was such consistency in the starting line-up last season which proved so pivotal in the team’s procession to a 19th league title.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Fabinho of Liverpool and Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on September 28, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

With Fabinho, you have that perfect protection in front of a back-four who have been overrun on more than just one occasion so far this season. Thiago is the only player arguably in the Premier League who has a meticulous ability to bend the tempo of a match to his will and dictate the flow of possession effortlessly. In Henderson, you have the standard-bearer of the team whose leadership qualities were worryingly missed against Villa.

Liverpool have struggled to totally control the flow of a game since their 3-1 victory against Arsenal, and even during that encounter, individual errors gifted the Gunners a lead and could have proven costly on any other given night.

Purely based on the capitulation at Villa, Liverpool need to change their approach. Luckily for Klopp, other than the goalkeeper, the Reds boss has his best set of outfield players armed-and-ready for battle.

 

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