It may come as little surprise to those who have previously watched the Brazilian fill in at the back, but Fabinho produced yet another standout performance in Liverpool’s Champions League shutout against Dutch champions Ajax.
The holding midfielder was almost faultless throughout, registering a game-high eight clearances and providing much-needed solidity to a makeshift backline.
Fabinho vs Ajax:
• 89% passing
• 51/57 passes (most for LFC)
• 1 chance created
• 2/2 tackles
• 8 clearances (most in game)
• 2 interceptions
• Not dribbled past
• Clean sheet
Absolutely superb Fab 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/m1XRgzM3Or
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) December 1, 2020
As the stats demonstrate, the Brazilian hardly put a foot wrong and played an integral role in helping secure Liverpool’s clean sheet.
Given Liverpool’s current injury woes, Jurgen Klopp may not be able to utilise Fabinho in a similar way for the upcoming Wolves fixture on Sunday, given captain Jordan Henderson faced another potential knock during the Champions League game.
Should Hendo be out for the club’s return to the Premier League, we at the Empire of the Kop would expect Klopp to push Fabinho back into midfield with Gini Wijnaldum and Ajax match-winner Curtis Jones, handing another start in defence to Nathaniel Phillips.
The German could opt for a change in formation, as he has against the weaker sides, with a 4-2-3-1 to allow Fabinho to drop back into defence; a risky manoeuvre given the threat of Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves side.
We hope any injury to Henderson isn’t serious however, to allow Klopp a greater choice in options, from an already depleted squad, come Sunday.