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Keita or Elliot? Player to replace Thiago at Liverpool after injury

By Charles Cornwall

Keita or Elliot? Player to replace Thiago at Liverpool after injury

Before April, Naby Keita y Thiago Alcántara only four times previously had they simultaneously shared turf. 

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Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara had only featured on four occasions together: against Chelsea in 2020/21 and against Newcastle, Burnley and Inter Milan. Things changed towards the end of last season, when they started six games together, most notably in the FA Cup semi-finals and final against Manchester City and Chelsea, and in the Champions League wins over Benfica and Villarreal.

Jurgen Klopp has normally used just one. Now that Thiago is injured and will be out for six weeks, the time has come for Keita to take over as Liverpool's creative force.

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Naby Keita

The 27-year-old was absent for both the final pre-season friendly against Strasbourg and last weekend's Premier League opener at Fulham due to illness, although Klopp hopes he will be fit and available for Monday's visit of Crystal Palace.

With Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out of action for extended periods, there is every chance Keita could become a key figure in the coming weeks. It was during a trip to Selhurst Park at the start of his Anfield career in August 2018 that Keita first hinted at his potential with an impressive performance.

Indeed, Keita came off the bench in the Community Shield, in which he helped initiate the third goal, continuing a contribution that has quietly impressed throughout the condensed pre-season programme.

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