Hidden beneath the excitement of the most highly anticipated Merseyside derby in years, former Bayern Munich teammates Thiago Alcantara and James Rodriguez are preparing to go toe-to-toe. The pair are now on English soil and have already made a telling impact at their new clubs.
While Thiago has played just one match since arriving from Germany for £20million, Liverpool capitulated in a 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa in his absence after testing positive for COVID-19.
The arrival of the Spaniard has lifted the Premier League champions following a stale end to the season last term.
Now Thiago has fully recovered from coronavirus and looks set to return straight into the starting line up at Goodison Park.
Ahead of the clash, you can expect Thiago to give Jurgen Klopp and his team-mates the inside track on Rodriguez.
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Liverpool’s maestro played as the No 8 with Javi Martinez under Carlo Ancelotti, with Rodriguez in front at the No 10.
Together, they won two Bundesliga titles with the second secured under the management of Niko Kovac.
Ancelotti built his team around Thiago and Rodriguez and admitted Liverpool had pulled off a major coup after they completed the deal.
While Rodriguez has been deployed on the wing for Everton, Thiago is well aware that Liverpool will need to work tirelessly to cut the supply.
He knows the spaces where Rodriguez wants the ball and will not want his opposite number to earn the bragging rights.
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