There was a time not so long ago when it appeared almost illegal for Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara to be on the same pitch for Liverpool. Heading into April, only four times previously had they simultaneously shared turf – at Chelsea in 2020/21 and the following term against Newcastle, Burnley, and Inter Milan. The sum total came to 95 minutes.Information Guide Nigeria
Matters changed towards the end of last season when they started six games alongside each other, most notably the FA Cup semi-final and final wins over Manchester City and Chelsea, and the Champions League triumphs at Benfica and Villarreal.
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But, for Jurgen Klopp, it has usually been one or the other. And, with Thiago now facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, the time has come for Keita to assume responsibility as the creative force in the Liverpool engine room.
The 27-year-old, of course, was absent from both the final pre-season friendly against Strasbourg and last weekend’s Premier League opener at Fulham due to illness, although Klopp fully expects the Guinea international to be fit and available for Monday’s visit of Crystal Palace.
And with Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out for extended periods, there is every chance Keita can become a key figure over the coming weeks.JAMB Result
Harvey Elliott is another creative engine room option available to Klopp and made a positive difference when coming off the bench at Fulham with his ability to bring the previously subdued Mohamed Salah into the game to devastating effect, the Egyptian creating the first equaliser for Nunez and then notching the second himself to score on the opening day for a Premier League record sixth successive time.
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