Liverpool face one of their season defining games this weekend. The Reds travel to Man City knowing that a victory would be a body blow in the title race. Just who will start for Jürgen Klopp’s side is anybody’s guess with the lineup very much undecided due to a series of fitness issues. John Barnes has urged Klopp not to start Thiago v Man City.
Early title decider
Liverpool v Man City is always a significant game these days.
The pair have been contesting the title ferociously in recent seasons, though last season the Reds ran away with it.
A win for Jürgen Klopp would put him eight points clear of Pep Guardiola although the Spaniard would have a game in hand.
Heading into the game Liverpool are very much the team in form having battered Atalanta in midweek, whilst Man City have failed to score more than one goal in a Premier League tie since September.
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John Barnes on Thiago v Man City
Speaking to talkSPORT, John Barnes urged Jürgen Klopp not to start Thiago v Man City.
Although there are question marks over whether or not the player will be fit to start at all, the ex-Anfield winger believes that there are better defensive options for the crunch tie. Barnes told the show:
“If you’re playing a game against Atalanta or Leeds, a more open team, they you can see Jota coming in.
“It’s the same with Thiago, If you play Man City you won’t necessarily play Thiago, you play Wijnaldum, Henderson and Fabinho who are much stronger defensively.”
What RTK has to say
I don’t think Barnes has got this one right at all.
The implication is that Thiago is significantly weaker than Wijnaldum defensively and I’d argue that isn’t the case.
The Spaniard is an excellent reader of the game and he uses this ability to intercept play and break up attacks.
We saw in the Merseyside Derby just how good the midfielder is at disrupting the opposition, it’s just a shame he paid the price for it.
Having Henderson alongside him would be more than enough to make up for any minute frailties in Thiago’s defensive game.