They may be the highest scorers this season, but Liverpool need to address their defensive record if they want to keep their form up this season.
For a side that is second in the Premier League table after 15 games, you would probably expect a solid defensive record to keep a side in the mix near the top of the table.
However, taking a close look at Liverpool this season, you will notice that they have only kept four clean sheets in the league this season, and have conceded a total of 13 goals on the road thus far.
This is an area that Liverpool do need to address if they are to have success. For as well they are doing in front of goal by being the league’s second highest scorers this season, they simply can’t outscore sides all of the time.
It is a part of the field that has seen a lot of change, whether that has been in the system or personnel, this weekend saw Mamadou Sakho return to the side in place of Daniel Agger who had an illness – and the Frenchman had a decent game.
But it seems an area of the field Liverpool need to tighten up, especially given the set of fixtures that are on the horizon for Liverpool – notably Manchester City away who have scored at will at the Etihad Stadium this season, that’s a game where Liverpool probably don’t want to get into an outscoring battle, but one where they would like their defence to be solid against the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero.
There is going to be the odd day when the strikers are struggling to fire, such as last week’s defeat to Hull City, and the defence needs to step up to be solid and keep the opposition at bay. Sometimes Liverpool have looked exposed through the middle and with the more physical presence, and haven’t been able to find the right combination to deal with that.
No real settled combination could be one aspect of Liverpool looking a little uncomfortable at times, though manager Brendan Rodgers may stick with pairing of Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho against Tottenham next week, as the Reds did look at little stronger when defending set pieces against West Ham United this weekend – which has been a real problem for the side.
But now Liverpool must improve on the four clean sheets so far this season, otherwise sides are going to really fancy their chances, and they could be under real pressure.
image: © Vincent Teeuwen