Liverpool suffered yet another huge injury blow this week when it was revealed that centre-back Mamadou Sakho would miss the next eight weeks with an ankle injury.
The French international fell awkwardly during the recent Premier League match with Crystal Palace and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp must now do without the 25-year-old until 2016.
That means Croatian international Dejan Lovren is likely to deputise – a prospect that fills some Liverpool fans with dread given the former Southampton player’s poor form since arriving at Anfield.
But how exactly have the two players compared in the league so far this season?
As you can see Sakho is – unsurprisingly – outperforming Lovren in a number of key areas, and the image above shows just how much of a loss the Frenchman will be for Liverpool in the weeks ahead.
|Passing Accuracy||Outfield blocks per game||Ball Recoveries per game||Tackles won per game||Effective clearances per game||Duels won per game||Aerials won per game||Interceptions won per game||Appearances||Mins Played|
Sakho has a significantly higher passing accuracy – a very impressive 91 per cent average in his seven league appearances to date – while he is streets ahead of Lovren when it comes to ball recoveries per match.
While the Frenchman averages 8.29 ball recoveries per league game Lovren’s average is just three, and in truth it does not get any better as the statistics add up.
Sakho is going to be a huge miss for Liverpool, injured just as he was playing his best football of the campaign, but Lovren will know he could still prove his doubters wrong if he plays to his full potential week in, week out.