Former Liverpool man Phil ‘Thommo’ Thompson has raved over Liverpool midfielders Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Brazilian has established himself as one of the premier defensive midfielders in Europe, while Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored four times in his last four games. Thommo is a big fan.
“I think Oxlade-Chamberlain has forced his way in [ v Manchester City] and it gives Klopp a dilemma,” he told Sky Sports. “Does he think he is absolutely 100 per cent fit for such a massive game? He certainly looks it and he has to have consideration for this game. As we saw against Genk and Arsenal, he can shoot from distance and cause an additional threat. This will be another dilemma for Klopp, as the front three speaks for itself.
“Fabinho is probably the best holding midfielder in the country at the moment, so I am not sure who will play alongside him. Henderson and Wijnaldum will be sweating on their positions, but he may go with his tried and trusted and potentially look for the impact in the last 20 minutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain.”
Firstly, let’s consider Thommo’s Fabinho comment. He regards the former Monaco man as the finest holding midfielder in England, and it’s difficult to argue with him at the moment. The 26-year-old has been absolutely superb this campaign, and the statistics bear that out. As per WhoScored.com, Fabinho is averaging 2.7 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game, while he’s produced two assists and is averaging 1.1 key passes per outing with a pass success rate of 87.2%. The there’s Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has surely secured himself a starting spot against City on Sunday. The former Arsenal star scored the winner against Genk on Tuesday night, and is on a real hot streak at the moment. As per the same website, ‘The Ox’ has scored four times this season, while he is averaging 1.9 shots and 1.3 successful dribbles per game. Meanwhile, he knocks 2.2 long balls forward an outing, while his pass success rate currently stands at an excellent 89.2%. He’s been terrific of late, so it’s surely merely a question of who partners him and Fabinho in midfield on Sunday.