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'Why?', 'How?': Some Liverpool fans left confused by Thiago absence

Thiago was the notable absence as Jurgen Klopp named his Liverpool team to face Real Madrid. Some fans couldn’t wrap their heads around it.

Jurgen Klopp surprised with his team selection against Real Madrid. The Liverpool boss left out Thiago and Diogo Jota, instead going with James Milner and Sadio Mane.

It was a little bit of a shock. The duo both joined the club at the start of the season and have played well.

Jota, in particular, shone from the get-go. Thiago took a while to find his feet but has looked like a star in some recent displays.

Most notably, he instantly improved Liverpool with his arrival last week. Klopp left him out of the starting XI in Madrid, instead opting for Naby Keita.

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Keita struggled badly, however, and the team suffered as a result. Things were certainly a lot more controlled once the Spaniard was on.

Still, Klopp has left him out for this one. And that’s confused some fans.

Fans react to Thiago absence

What RTK has to say

Honestly, these are some of the milder reactions. Many fans are unhappy with this one.

Klopp has essentially gone back to basics with his lineup. He’s picked the players that delivered titles over the last few years – centre-backs aside, of course.

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But we think the big reason is playing style. Picking Milner and Wijnaldum in midfield tells us that Klopp wants to out-run or even over-run Real tonight.

It’s something he tried last week, too, with Keita’s selection. Unfortunately, Keita lacked the discipline and mentality for the task. He wasn’t covering Trent Alexander-Arnold, pressing properly, or counter-attacking.

Milner offers energy in abundance, while you can also count on some extra leadership and experience. As for Wijnaldum, it was clear he would start the moment Klopp took him offer against Villa.

We’ve got to imagine that’s the plan. If it helps, we can’t see it going so badly that Klopp has to change it after 41 minutes this time.

Regardless, though, this is the decision on which fans will judge him.

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