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Jan 17, 2021 at 4.30pm UK
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Man UtdManchester United

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: 'Thiago is like a new signing'

:Headline: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: 'Thiago is like a new signing':
The Spanish midfielder's passing ability could be crucial for Liverpool in Sunday's Anfield clash with Man Utd.
Sports Mole

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he has tried to lessen the expectation on Thiago Alcantara by suggesting he is like a new signing for January but the midfielder could have a crucial part to play this weekend.

The Spain international's appearance in last week's FA Cup win over a weakened Aston Villa side was only his fifth since his arrival in September after being sidelined first by Covid-19 and then a knee injury.

Thiago has played just 242 Premier League minutes – the least of all the club's outfield players – but in that short time has displayed the sort of quality in terms of passing ability and ball retention which may be vital against their arch-rivals.

Klopp accepts it is difficult to shield a player who won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in the summer from expectation any more.

"To put the pressure a little bit off the situation I said we should sign Thiago in the window but we did now and now he is here let's hope he stays like this for a long, long, long, long time," he said.

"The most important thing is he is fit and he trained. He had 90 and 45 minutes in the last two games.

"We will see if he can play and which position he can play because there are different options.

"But it is really good to have him around now. He is a really good guy and an exceptional football player. It is like a new signing."

“Now he is here let's hope he stays like this for a long, long, long, long time”
- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes Thiago stays fit

Klopp's side have had a bit of wobble recently and failing to win in their last three league matches allowed United to overtake them at the top of the table heading into the weekend.

But the Reds boss has had more than a week to prepare for the game and is confident they have put their recent woes behind them.

"We lost against Southampton a week or so ago, which was absolutely not what we wanted, but the next day we spoke and the boys had their say as well, all that kind of stuff," he added.

"We are now in a place where we want to be. We know what we have to do. We know what went wrong. We want to change.

"Now, we have to put in place on the pitch. That is the situation. I'm really looking forward to this game, to be honest.

"I know Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager) said that this is the best moment to play against Liverpool. Yeah? Let's see."

Klopp, however, insists there is no extra motivation for beating United despite his side now trailing by three points.

"Winning a football game, winning against United is enough in itself," he said.

"It is not necessary that there are special add-ons. We play at home against United and we want to win.

"They are in the situation they are, they got the points, they deserved the points, we have got ours and the season still has a long way to go so it is not like we talk about if we win we go ahead of them.

"Man City are one game behind and are very close as well so we don't constantly think about other teams.

"We just try to win our football games and for this we have to perform at our highest level because United are good – they always were."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2412483733440
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich33217547252270
2Brentford33189661352663
3Watford33179743241960
4Swansea CitySwansea31178639221759
5Reading33166114537854
6Bournemouth331410947321552
7Barnsley32156113836251
8Cardiff CityCardiff331481149351450
9Middlesbrough33138123835347
10Stoke CityStoke331112103837145
11Bristol City33143163544-945
12Millwall3391683230243
13Preston North EndPreston33134163742-543
14Luton TownLuton32118132737-1041
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn32117144638840
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest331010132832-440
17Queens Park RangersQPR311010113136-540
18Derby CountyDerby32108142533-838
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield33106173850-1236
20Coventry CityCoventry33811143044-1435
21Birmingham CityBirmingham33810152541-1634
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham3185183342-929
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds3297162338-1528
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe3258192353-3023
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