PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool's Thiago: the assist king

With a huge top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United on Sunday, will The Reds' Thiago Alcantara be the key to unlocking their defence at Anfield?

Thiago came off the bench against Newcastle United a couple of weeks ago in his first appearance since October, but wasn't able to affect the game as Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw. Over the years, however, he has been instrumental in his teams finding the opening.

Thiago makes things tick

The former Bayern Munich man, who sustained a knee injury in a 2-2 draw with Everton on October 17, was a 73rd-minute substitute in that game and managed to make 23 passes with 91.3 per cent accuracy midweek.

"We signed Thiago actually because we thought he was a good player, so you can imagine we would like to have him in the team. That's clear," Klopp told reporters during his post-match news conference that day.

"It's good [he is back], he is a super player. I think of the 20 minutes, 12 round about were brilliant and then he felt the intensity, but that's normal. He trained exactly twice with the team. There is still some physical work to do, still some rhythm to get."

Now that the Spaniard is getting closer to full fitness, many look to him as someone who can open up the defences that Liverpool are facing these days, those that shut up shop against the champions and look to hit on the counter. United await.