Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that his side will be without Thiago for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash against Arsenal on Thursday night.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against the Gunners at Anfield, he said: “Trent and Ali trained yesterday (Tuesday). Div and Thiago not. That’s it pretty much.
“Like always in these times, all players, apart from the injured ones or in Africa playing (the) Africa Cup of Nations, who test negative should be available. Robbo got a little knock in the Shrewsbury game but is fine. I’m not sure if I forgot anybody but the rest are available.”
Klopp did offer a more detailed update on Thiago’s situation earlier in the week after speculation initially emerged suggesting the Spaniard would actually be out for the entire season.
He reassured: “No. Neither March nor end of season is in my mind. It is something around the hip. That is the situation he needs time. He didn’t train this week but we expect him to start rehab from Monday.
“It’s not the case that he is out until the end of season.”
While that in itself is a major relief to the Reds, it remains the case that Thiago will play no part in the first leg of their crunch Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Arsenal later tonight.
According to FBREF, he averages 72 completed passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, with Manchester City’s own Spanish maestro Rodri being the only midfielder to have played at least 300 minutes who averages more with 77.
Thiago is the conductor of this Liverpool side when he’s in the team, and that ability to control the tempo of the game is something unmatched in the rest of the squad.
It’s a major hole that doesn’t have a quick fix, and with the added fact that Liverpool have lost their second leg home advantage due to last week’s postponement, being without Thiago is another major setback and huge blow for Klopp.
It’s sure to leave him gutted that he won’t be able to count on his midfield play-maker tonight.