Liverpool will be hoping to extend their unbeaten start to the new Premier League campaign when they take on Leeds United this afternoon.
The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw with European champions Chelsea last time out, following their previous victories over Norwich City and Burnley. After Reece James was sent off for the Blues on the stroke of half-time, Liverpool would have been disappointed not to collect all three points at Anfield before the international break.
A well-organised Chelsea backline kept the 19-time English champions at bay after the interval as they struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities in front of goal.
Although Leeds aren’t famed for their defensive solidity, Marcelo Bielsa’s charges will also pose a tricky test for Liverpool, and Klopp may have to change things up in order to avoid another disappointing result.
The Elland Road outfit play an open and expansive brand of football consisting of intense pressing and an all-action approach.
As a result, Klopp must bring Thiago back into his midfield after failing to start the 30-year-old so far this season. The diminutive technician will be able to bring his tactical intelligence and incredible technical ability to dictate the tempo, allowing Liverpool to have an element of control over their opponents.
Although a serious knee injury limited the Spaniard to just 20 Premier League starts in his maiden campaign on English shores, his quality in a struggling Reds side was plain for all to see.
As per SofaScore, Thiago averaged 1.3 key passes per league game and achieved a passing accuracy of 90% while also making a significant defensive contribution, averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per match.
His outstanding displays caught the eye of several impressed onlookers, including Liverpool teammate Nat Philips, who heaped praise on Thiago for his technical and tactical ability.
“You haven’t seen anything yet. There were some moments he’d produce in matches later on that he had produced in training.
“In those moments, you know this guy is a serious player, so yeah, just to have shared a pitch with him is something I can look back on and be proud of because he is an unbelievable footballer.”
Therefore, Thiago could make the difference for Liverpool in today’s encounter, so Klopp should reinstate the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich ace to his starting lineup against Bielsa’s Leeds.