Liverpool could well have Thiago Alcantara back fit in time to face Manchester City at the weekend and Jose Enrique believes that would open up the opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to drop Jordan Henderson into defence alongside Joe Gomez. Virgil van Dijk’s potentially season-ending injury has forced Klopp into making some big changes in defence.
Both Joel Matip and Gomez had never started a game together as the centre-back pairing prior to Van Dijk’s injury with Fabinho being the fourth-choice option in defence.
But Fabinho suffered an injury last week while Matip has struggled to maintain his fitness so far this season.
Rhys Williams came on to replace Fabinho in the win over Midtjylland while Nat Phillips was chosen to play in defence against West Ham.
Klopp faces another decision this evening when Liverpool take on Atalanta but the Liverpool boss will also have one eye on this weekend’s fixture against City.
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Pep Guardiola’s side are still seen as Liverpool’s closest rivals for the title this campaign and fixtures between the two sides could determine who ultimately ends up winning the league.
Thiago is close to making a return to training and could well be involved in the game against City.
His potential return would be a huge boost to Klopp’s options in midfield, with Naby Keita also now back in training.
But in defence, Klopp may well want more experience than what Williams or Philipps can offer playing against City’s attacking threat.
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And former Anfield star Enrique believes the Liverpool boss should pick club captain Henderson to fill in, especially if Thiago is fit enough to start in midfield.
“It depends if Thiago is fit for that game as well,” he said on Stadium Astro.
“Thiago can play in Jordan Henderson’s role and Hendo can play as a centre-back.
“I believe Hendo, he’ll do well wherever you play him.
“I think if you play him as a right back he can do well.
“It may look a strange choice but definitely I would not choose Williams because he didn’t play today [against West Ham].
“It will be between Phillips and Henderson, depends on Thiago’s fitness.”
There are still questions over Matip’s fitness as well, although he could be in contention to face City after taking part in training on Monday.
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