Liverpool gave key Premier League title boost as Jürgen Klopp takes on Pep Guardiola
Neither Jürgen Klopp nor Pep Guardiola will be looking forward to the next international break. With big games ahead of the World Cup later in the year, many of their players will be heavily involved and the potential for fatigue and injury will increase tenfold.
Back in their own surroundings, the next few weeks will no doubt have major ramifications for the fate of their respective clubs’ seasons with Champions League clashes and a long-awaited encounter at the Etihad looming for Liverpool and Manchester City. in less than a month. .
Earlier this week, Pep Guardiola received a significant boost in Manchester City’s preparations for their next games after Kevin de Bruyne was omitted from the Belgium squad for their friendlies this month.
De Bruyne’s exclusion from the squad means he will have a two-week break and plenty of time to rejuvenate to be as fresh as possible for City’s tough run for the rest of the season.
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But Manchester City is not alone in this luxury.
Klopp has been bolstered in his Premier League title charge by another notable omission, this time in the Spanish national team.
Thiago Alcântara has not been included in the Spanish squad, and he, like De Bruyne, will have a long period of time to recover and recharge in order to be as fit as possible for the game against Manchester City.
Thiago’s omission is particularly helpful for Liverpool given that he is one of the team’s biggest focal points. Against Arsenal in midweek, it was his precision and crisp passing that helped Liverpool break the deadlock after delivering a sumptuous pass in the direction of Diogo Jota.
Playing a pivotal role, falling back and helping Liverpool recycle and retain possession, Thiago’s presence has often been the difference for Liverpool this season, and he is undoubtedly one of the key members of Klopp’s starting XI. .
Having him at his best against Manchester City and in his purest form could be the advantage that tips the game in Liverpool’s favour. City will likely be looking to put pressure on Liverpool in the middle of the park and with so many elite midfielders, Thiago’s presence to take control could be key.
Many will have seen De Bruyne’s layoff as a major benefit for Guardiola. But Klopp has now received a boost himself, meaning both sides have parity again. Who will triumph, only time will tell.