Liverpool opinion: Jurgen Klopp has to shoehorn Fabinho into the starting XI till the end of the season
Liverpool were staring down the barrel as a resurgent Tottenham looked set to claim the three points at Anfield on Sunday.
The teams were level at 1-1 with Lucas Moura scoring in the 70th minute and Spurs could have scored more than the one in the second half.
Jurgen Klopp took a major gamble by changing things up. Divock Origi and Fabinho came on to effectively change our formation to a 4-2-4.
The goal came via some fortune as Toby Alderweireld bundled the ball into his own net, but there was a marked change in our midfield after Moura’s goal.
Fabinho doing the dirty work again
Fabinho not starting against Spurs was a bit of a surprise as his presence in the midfield has been fantastic for us all season.
The Brazilian started his Liverpool career a little cautiously but his performances in some crunch games have been stellar.
The former Monaco star was excellent in the 3-1 away win at Bayern Munich, and his cameo again on Sunday proves he needs to be in the starting XI till the end of the campaign.
The Brazilian breaks up play easily and is great at tackling too. However, his greatest asset is his ability to keep the game flowing with his passing range.
Liverpool don’t have a creative midfielder at the moment, and they don’t need it thanks to the efforts of both full-backs. However, there are certain situations where we need some eye of the needle stuff from the midfielders and Fabinho seems to provide them more often than not.
The 25-year-old has a goal and a couple of assists to his name this season, but importantly, he seems to snuff out any danger in the midfield.
Tough decisions for Klopp to make
Klopp has a major problem in his hand with how to set up his midfield. The German has preferred a trio of Jordan Henderson, Georginio WWijanldum and James Milner in most of the big games, but Fabinho needs to be slotted into the three.
Milner provides Klopp with a lot of running and tactical nous, the same with Wijnaldum, while Henderson does a lot of recycling of the ball.
Liverpool need to have some steel in the midfield and that is what that Fabinho brings to the team compared to the other three.
If there is a criticism of the Brazilian, it has to be his tendency to pick up yellow cards. The 25-year-old has picked up six bookings in the Premier League alone, and it is always risky for a player, especially someone who has a lot of defensive work to do, to play on with a yellow.
Part of that problem is due to a lack of pace but more often than not, Fabinho is in the right place at the right time.
The Reds have six Premier League games left this season, apart from Champions League, and Fabinho needs to be playing all of them (League and Champions League).
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We need to win each one of them to have any hopes of lifting the title, and hopefully, Manchester City drop points in their remaining games.