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New Liverpool strategy bucks 2-year possession trend but it's working

Liverpool are using possession in a different way. It’s a new strategy but one that is undeniably working.

Liverpool had a little over 46 per cent possession in the 1-0 win away at Wolves. It’s only the fourth time this season they’ve had the minority.

The first time was away at Manchester City – as expected. Then they also gave up the ball against possession-heavy Ajax in a 1-0 win at Anfield.

The third time came against RB Leipzig last week. They had just 40 per cent in that game – by far their lowest this season. In fact, that was their lowest since the UEFA Champions League final victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

But it also means Liverpool have gone back-to-back games with a minority of the ball. That hasn’t happened since October 2018 when Liverpool gave up over 50 per cent against Napoli and Manchester City.

And at this point, Wolves should stick out. They’re not only the weakest team on this list but they’re not possession-heavy.

Wolves have had the majority of the ball just twice in their last seven games before this one. Once against Aston Villa when they had under 51 per cent and once against Newcastle United when they had 53.

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When they played Liverpool at Anfield, they had just 40.

To us, it appears Liverpool have changed their strategy.

On the break

Liverpool are playing more direct, faster football. Perhaps that’s an overall strategy change, perhaps it’s just the nature of playing with Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah as your forwards.

Photo by Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Either way, it’s working. Klopp is setting Liverpool up as a team looking to win the ball back and strike immediately.

Just look at their goal against Wolves. A thumping header from Nat Phillips found Sadio Mane. From there it was a touch to Salah, a touch back to Mane, a touch to Jota and a goal.

It was rapid. Not stopping to think, just attacking the space. It seems that’s the plan going forward and it’s one that’s currently working.

All stats per FBref.

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