Liverpool host Brighton on Saturday and it’s a perfect chance to start a new midfield. The Reds will have to mix things up a little.
Liverpool won’t have an easy decision midfield against Brighton – that much is obvious. Injuries to James Milner and Harvey Elliott rule them out and while Thiago is back in training, we can’t imagine he’s ready to start.
Fabinho has a large question mark over him, too. The Brazilian missed the win over Manchester United but Pep Lijnders says he should be okay for Saturday.
But Fabinho wasn’t in training photos on Thursday. We’re not sure he’s going to be 100%, even if fit to make the squad. We’d argue it would make more sense to leave him on the bench, given Liverpool’s subsequent game is against Atletico Madrid.
Thus the timing is right for Liverpool to start a new attacking tandem in midfield. We’re not sure there will be a more sensible opportunity.
Which duo to start vs Brighton?
We’ve seen plenty of midfield combinations this season but there is one that Klopp is yet to use. That’s starting both Naby Keita and Curtis Jones ahead of a holding midfielder.
Now, that midfielder would be Jordan Henderson, presuming Fabinho doesn’t play. Having Keita and Jones on either side of him could prove very exciting.
After all, those two have been brilliant in recent performances.
Keita is fresh off of a fantastic display at Old Trafford. He was instrumental in three first-half goals as United struggled badly to cover his movement.
While he did pick up a knock in that game, it does appear that he’s okay.
Jones has had his own performances to shout about. He was magnificent against Porto, scored against Brentford and put in a good display against Manchester City.
With Liverpool flying at the moment and the forwards thriving in front of goal, playing these two as a pairing could prove perfect. There’s a ton of movement there, as well as players who want to run with the ball.
We just haven’t seen them in the same midfield very often – usually because Liverpool have concerns elsewhere. On one rare occasion last season, they did form two of the midfield three.
That came in a 3-0 win over Leicester City at Anfield. The two of them passed the ball masterfully that day, creating three chances between them and boasting fantastic pass completion rates. Only Fabinho, playing as a centre-back, passed the ball with more prescision.
So we know it can work in the right circumstances. With confidence sky-high right now, we think the time is right to go with this very attacking tandem.