Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 31 October 2020

Thiago works out with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as he bids for first Liverpool start against Arsenal - in pictures

Coach Jurgen Klopp says the Spaniard is in contention for Gunners match

Liverpool midfield signing Thiago Alcantara is in contention to make his first start for his new club against Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday, manager Jurgen Klopp said.

Thiago joined Liverpool from Bundesliga and Champions League winners Bayern Munich earlier this month and looked every bit the class act in a 45-minute cameo during Sunday's win over Chelsea following an injury to skipper Jordan Henderson.

He certainly looked ready when taking part in Liverpool training ahead of the match, along side Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and fellow new signing Diego Jota.

The Spaniard's first involvement after coming off the bench against Chelsea was to concede a penalty that Alisson saved, but he soon slotted in seamlessly, pulling the strings in midfield and starting the move that led to Liverpool's second goal in the 2-0 win.

"We will see," Klopp said when asked if he would start the 29-year-old. "I have an idea but why should I make the decision today when we have time until Monday? He is in contention for sure."

Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties in this season's Community Shield and though they have not won a league game at Anfield since 2012, both teams are looking to preserve their perfect starts to the season.

Klopp said Arsenal had improved dramatically under Spanish coach Mikel Arteta and were set up to defend in numbers and hit opponents on the break.

"Mikel Arteta has showed in a very short period of time that he's an exceptional football manager," the German added. "The structure of the team he sets up is absolutely exceptional. You can see the balance between defence and offence is really good.

"I don't know what the mood was before he arrived but I don't think a lot of people thought he'd win a competition by the end of the season. He did that by winning the FA Cup and the (Community Shield) so... it's a tough, tough, tough opponent 100%."

Updated: September 26, 2020 10:55 AM

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email