Liverpool vs Man United: James Pearce names the midfield Jurgen Klopp should pick

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara in Premier League action vs Southampton

Liverpool should start a midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara versus Manchester United, according to The Athletic's James Pearce.

Jurgen Klopp's side host the Red Devils at Anfield in the Premier League next Sunday and with both sides currently level on points in the table, the coming edition of the Northwest derby could prove to be one of the most significant in many years. 

In fact, United could even enter the clash top of the league as their game-in-hand on the reigning champions will be played out in midweek against Burnley. 

James Pearce, who is something of a journalistic cult figure amongst Reds fans, ended up giving his verdict on Klopp's midfield options in The Athletic's discussion thread for Liverpool's 4-1 FA Cup win over a seriously weakened Aston Villa side. 

After one supporter expressed his disillusionment towards the midfield trio Klopp selected on Friday night - Henderson, Wijnaldum and youngster Curtis Jones - Pearce replied: "be interesting to see what midfield Klopp picks v United. Think I'd go with Thiago, Henderson and Wijnaldum."

GIVEMESPORT's Christy Malyan says...

There was certainly a lack of guile and invention from Liverpool's midfield against Villa considering the extent of which they controlled the ball in the first-half of Friday's FA Cup clash.

Once Thiago came on for Henderson at half-time, the Reds began to really pick apart a team made up entirely of youth players, with the former Bayern Munich man using his vision to convert all that possession into meaningful opportunities. 

But it shouldn't be forgotten that injuries have limited him to just five appearances all season and that Sunday's encounter with the Red Devils will be an entirely different kind of game, one where special attention will need to be paid to Bruno Fernandes by whoever lines up at the base of midfield. 

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Thiago often operates in that pocket because it gives him the space to pull strings, but it's hard to think of a worse scenario for Liverpool than Manchester United's talisman continually playing around a deep-lying midfielder who isn't defensively-minded. 

While Thiago definitely gets into Liverpool's strongest midfield three on paper, whether this is actually the right game for him - and whether he's fit enough to play it - remains a different matter entirely. 

Although it seemingly wouldn't be a popular choice, perhaps Klopp is best off sticking with that same midfield of Wijnaldum, Henderson and Jones again for a game that looks set to be tight-knit, and has the potential to be season-defining. 

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