Liverpool will not win the Premier League title again unless Jurgen Klopp considers a drastic change. The Reds are showing a worrying trend.
Jurgen Klopp must know that Liverpool aren’t on the path to the Premier League title. They’re sitting near the top of the table, of course, but the Reds don’t look like champions in waiting on the pitch.
The biggest reason for that – by far – is that they’re leaking goals. Liverpool have conceded 13 times in their first five games and no one has conceded more. Last season, it took them 13 games to reach that mark, which was the December 4th home clash against Everton.
Now, the 7-2 anomaly against Aston Villa plays a huge part in that, of course. But it’s still true that Liverpool let in three at home to Leeds United on the opening day. They didn’t concede three in one Premier League game last season until February 29th.
So this isn’t the same team as last season, then. They’re leaking goals at an incredible rate, usually through defensive mistakes.
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It means Klopp might have to consider a drastic change to get things back on track.
The easiest way to tighten things up – especially in light of Virgil van Dijk’s injury – is a change of system. And the most obvious of those is to go 4-2-3-1, which is something we’ve talked about before.
The difference, however, is that we’ve always seen that as an attacking change. But it might end up being a necessary defensive one.
Liverpool played 4-3-3 virtually every game last season. It was fantastically successful, of course, and incredibly consistent. This season, though, Liverpool look anything but consistent.
Thus, change might make sense. And with 4-2-3-1, Klopp could afford his backline a little more security. The system uses two sitting midfielders to shield the defence and the options of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson give him excellent candidates for that duo.
It also afford one important luxury – Fabinho can drop back into defence and Klopp still has a very strong midfield to choose from.
Klopp has used Fabinho as a centre-half on occasion recently and Van Dijk’s injury means we’ll surely see more of him there. But with a 4-3-3, that means the chief holding midfielder is missing and that’s an important role. Henderson can deputise but it means the midfield is far from its strongest – the best holding player isn’t there and the captain is out of position.
4-2-3-1, though, has two midfielders without set roles. Fabinho could drop out and it doesn’t necessitate someone covers for him. Instead, someone simply comes in and plays it to their own strengths.
This seems like the simplest way to tighten the defence right now. Liverpool certainly can’t buy anyone but a quick change of system could stop them leaking goals.