Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp has had success in games, especially in the Champions League last season and a feat that saw them finish one point behind the current defending champions, Manchester City and it was all due to the Reds’ defensive strength.
With an analysis of their game style, one can say they have one of the best defensive forces in the whole of Europe.
Signings like Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson and defensive midfielder Fabinho led to the development of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Joe Gomez. It is safe to say this combination ensured Liverpool’s weak spot was transformed into a position of strength.
As a matter of fact, Liverpool conceded fewer goals than any other team last season. They conceded a total of 22 goals, a total that was over half the number they let in during the 2017-18 campaign. Also, they kept 21 clean sheets.
They had a total of 610 tackles with a tackle success of 61%, 141 blocked shots, 314 interceptions, 639 clearances, and 2518 aerial battles won. (Premier League Stat)
This year hasn’t been bad for Liverpool either. They started off the season thrashing newly-promoted Norwich City 4-1 in their Premier League opener before adding a fourth European Super Cup to their trophy cabinet after squeaking past Chelsea on penalties.
However, it is best for Liverpool not to be too relaxed seeing as their Premier League cup rival is trailing behind them with just six points to catch up with. With a rival like that closing in fast on them, they might want to be wary of some situations that might prevent their chances of getting the Premier League title again this year.
Let’s take a quick look into some of the things Liverpool need to be prepared for this season.
Conceding too many goals
Liverpool no doubt has had a good run this season so far. Their winning streak recently broken by a draw against Manchester United in their last Premier League meeting doesn’t totally erase the fact that they could have lost the match against Manchester United.
Also, Liverpool’s propensity to concede goals might later come back to haunt them should it come to deciding who the winner is by head to head.
Injuries could leave Liverpool short
Jurgen Klopp had the chance to beef up his squad with some expensive additions over the summer but did not, claiming Liverpool was not operating in a ‘fantasy land where you just get whatever you want’ using that chance to throw a clear jibe at Manchester City.
So apart from his first squad, all he has to fall back on should anything go wrong are a couple of highly-promising teenagers and backup goalkeepers.
Using the Norwich match as an example, Teemu Pukki’s goal is a real bother if we are looking at it from tactics. That a player was able to ghost in behind Gomez to score easily should be a matter of serious concern.
Seeing opposition attackers burst into space behind Liverpool’s backline has been a feature of their start of the season. Olivier Giroud scored a near-identical goal for Chelsea in the Super Cup, pulling wide into space, untracked, before sliding a low finish into the far corner.
Looking closely at Liverpool’s games, there is a problem defending when the opposition positions themselves in the inside channel between centre-back and full-back. This is an area that Liverpool will surely improve upon in the coming weeks but the fact that they are conceding so many chances at present is a slight concern considering they started last season in imperious defensive form, conceding only three times in their opening nine league matches.