Liverpool: 3 keys to victory against Manchester United on Thursday

Liverpool, Nathaniel Phillips (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Nathaniel Phillips (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Thiago, Liverpool
Thiago, Liverpool (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Liverpool need to convincingly win the midfield battle

Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara this summer in order to create superiority in the midfield and retain the Premier League over Manchester City. The Bayern Munich club legend was one of the world’s most prolific midfielders at controlling games and dictating play, on par with Toni Kroos before the 2020-2021 season. But Thiago’s reputation has slipped in his first year in a new league and with a new club that is experiencing some pains in this difficult season.

Thiago hasn’t been at his best, but he remains one of the world’s best. And his quality does shine through in some matches. Meanwhile, Gini Wijnaldum is another highly regarded player who hasn’t found consistency but could be clutch against Manchester United. The third man in midfield for Liverpool could be either Fabinho or James Milner.

No matter how you spin it, the Reds should have the better midfield on Thursday night. Fred and Scott McTominay are decent players, but they just don’t have the quality on the ball – especially not McTominay, who does not make the sharp decisions that Thiago and Wijnaldum do – to cope with a Liverpool midfield at its best.

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In order to relax the pressure off a defense that will face an in-form Cavani, the world-class Paul Pogba, and the ever-dangerous Bruno Fernandes, Thiago and Co. must take control of the game. They must be crisp in their distribution and uncompromising in defense.