Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thiago back in Liverpool squad for Newcastle clash

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Dec 2020

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Thiago Alcantara returned to Liverpool’s squad for Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United following more than two months out.

The 29-year-old sustained a knee injury in the champions’ 2-2 draw with Everton on October 17 and has not featured since.

He set a Premier League record on his debut in September when completing 75 passes in the 2-0 win over Chelsea – the most by a player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes since Opta started collecting full passing data at the start of 2003-04.

Thiago’s average of 98 passes completed per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term is easily the most of any Liverpool player, with skipper Jordan Henderson (86.8) next on the list.

Despite Jurgen Klopp playing down talk of Thiago returning to action at St James’ Park on the eve of the game, the midfielder was included as part of the Reds’ 20-man squad.

Thiago, who has made just two appearances in all competitions since joining from Bayern Munich for £25million, was among Liverpool’s substitutes.

Klopp made two changes from the 1-1 draw with West Brom on Sunday – Nat Phillips replacing the injured Joel Matip and James Milner coming in for the benched Georginio Wijnaldum.

Liverpool are unbeaten in seven Premier League games against Newcastle, winning each of the last five in a row – never have they won six on the spin in this top-flight fixture.

However, Newcastle are unbeaten in their past four home league meetings against reigning champions, winning two and drawing two.

The hosts showed just one alteration as Callum Wilson returned to the side in place of Miguel Almiron.

 

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