Liverpool stars are away for the international break but some must improve once they’re back. Here are three we’ve picked out.
There’s arguably no player Liverpool want back on form more than Firmino. He’s been poor in recent games – by his standards, anyway.
Now, he’s certainly done some good. Firmino has two assists in his four games, as well as making five tackles (fantastic for a striker) and seven key passes. But two stats show just how off-key he is.
Opponents have tackled Firmino five times in four games. Even worse, he’s given the ball away with a poor touch 14 times (!) in those games. That’s not the Firmino we’re used to.
And for Liverpool’s sake, let’s hope the £29m man gets back to his best soon. He’s a fundamental part of the overall system, after all, as there isn’t really anyone like him.
Gomez hasn’t played well to start the season. He’s been a defensive liability at time, in fact. Joel Matip’s fitness woes mean it’s a real problem, too.
Fabinho can deputise, certainly, but Liverpool would prefer he was in midfield. That’s still his best position.
So for the sake of the defence, it would be nice to get Gomez, a £3.5m signing in 2015, back to his best. Liverpool are just a little too light at the back to carry an out-of-form first-teamer.
It might be a little too late for Keita once Liverpool are back after the international break. Thiago and Jordan Henderson may be back in midfield and Keita’s spell in the first-XI would be over.
But when he does get his next chance, he simply has to improve.
In four games, he’s made just two tackles (both v Chelsea) and three interceptions (all v Leeds). He’s been dribbled past six times (4x v Chelsea), made just one pass that led to a shot, has been tackled seven times, and gave the ball away with a bad touch eight times.
He’s got no goals and no assists, either. And despite starting all four Premier League games, Keita has made just one pass that led to a shot. That’s simply not good enough.
If the £53m signing wants another look-in, he’s got to do far better with his next opportunity.