Fabulous Fabinho presents happy problem for Klopp

LONDON • Fabinho's impressive display in Liverpool's midweek 4-0 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade has left his manager Jurgen Klopp with a difficult decision to make ahead of the team's return to Premier League action at home to Cardiff today.

But, for Liverpool fans hoping to see an end to their club's 29-year wait to be crowned top-flight champions again, the Brazil midfielder's emergence offers yet more hope that Klopp is assembling a squad capable of challenging for the league trophy.

The Reds are level with Manchester City at the top and behind only on goal difference.

The 25-year-old, signed from Monaco for £40 million (S$71 million) in the summer, has played only 21 minutes in the league - coming off the bench last weekend at Huddersfield - as he adjusts to the rigours of English football.

While Klopp has been careful to integrate him into his line-up, his star turn on Wednesday suggested that he will have a significant role to play for the rest of the season.

"For his first game for a while, his second start from the beginning, it was good, really good. It is quite impressive what people saw," the German said of Fabinho, who could start tonight's game at Anfield against the Bluebirds with midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita missing through injury.

Despite Cardiff finally getting their first win of the season last Saturday against fellow strugglers Fulham, Neil Warnock's men should not pose too much of a threat to the Reds, whose "Fab Three" will relish the opportunity to go up against the league's second-most leakiest defence with 19 goals conceded.

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For his first game for a while, his second start from the beginning, it was good, really good. It is quite impressive what people saw.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, who is contemplating starting Brazil midfielder Fabinho against Cardiff today.

And Roberto Firmino intends to add to the 15 goals in all competitions that the front trio have already plundered so far.

"We're working with this (the 91-goal mark set last season) in mind," the Brazil forward said.

"We work on finishing every day in training, and we improve every day. We hope that we get back to what it was like last season as soon as we can.

"We got off to a great start this season. Our aim is of course to win a trophy, not just the Premier League (title), but every competition in which we're taking part.

"This is always our mindset - to always be fighting to win trophies."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2018, with the headline 'Fabulous Fabinho presents happy problem for Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe