Liverpool have gone four games without defeat upon a change to a more defensive style of football.
The Merseyside club also have hopes of securing their passage to the knock-out stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night, although they must overcome Basel at home to secure passage. Anything other than a victory for the Reds will see Brendan Rodgers’ side out the competition at the earliest opportunity, and, whist that will allow the Reds to focus upon their faltering league campaign, it will do little in raising morale at Anfield.
The key factor in clinching their successive results has been a change in style, with Rodgers’ focusing upon shoring up the defensive unit. A series of extremely lax performances were capped with the 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace, and, having shown that their attacking style used last season will not work without the goalscoring presences of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the coach was wise to rebuild a set of strong foundations at the back.
While Simon Mignolet is still an incredible weak link in the side, Rodgers has worked to prevent the Belgian stopper having to face as many shots in recent weeks, and it has worked. However, it has been at the expense of fluidity and style in the final third, but Joe Allen - a key component in the Reds’ midfield - believes that the ‘solid foundation’ will allow the attacking players to prosper knowing that there is a strong defence behind them.
Quoted by the official Liverpool website, the 24-year-old said: “Maybe at times this year we've been so frustrated trying to go and get a goal that we've left ourselves a little bit open, but we've certainly changed that recently. It takes that little bit of doubt out of your game and you can focus on trying to get a goal.
“We've certainly got the ability and talent to score goals. We've shown that in the past. But we're all confident it's only a matter of time before we get back to those levels, and the solid foundation we've had in the last few games has been a positive and will help improve things as we go forward as well.”
The Merseyside club will need to show a strong defensive display if they intend to defeat Basel on Tuesday evening, but, with a win necessary, fans will be hoping to see some their marvellous attacking flair return to Brendan Rodgers’ side.