Klopp’s defence needs depth for Europe

Liverpool are currently third in the Premier League and have been a firm contender for a top-four finish all season. They are now just four games away from securing Champions League football for next term, with eight points separating them from seventh-placed Everton.

The Reds’ most recent result was a disappointing defeat to Crystal Palace, where Philippe Coutinho was first to strike with an exceptional freekick to give his side a 1-0 lead. Manager Jurgen Klopp described the goal as “genius”.

But former Liverpool man Christian Benteke hit back with two goals to gain the victory over his old club and put Liverpool’s chances of a top-four finish in jeopardy.

However, Liverpool will not want to settle for the Europa League after eyeing Champions League qualification all season. Klopp has to face Southampton and Middlesbrough at Anfield as well as travel to West Ham and Watford. The Merseyside outfit are 8/15 to finish in the top four in the football betting despite all three teams below them having two games in hand each.

The main problem with Klopp’s side this year is their inability to keep the ball out of their own goal. Liverpool may have scored more than any other Premier League team this season (70) but they have conceded more than any other top-seven team (42). They have been unlucky with injuries but the fact is they don’t have enough depth in the defence.

James Milner has done well filling in at left back for most of the season but he can’t be a permanent first choice for them in that position and with youngsters such as Alexander-Arnold just not ready yet and Alberto Moreno’s consistency issues they need to strengthen their options.

Manchester City’s Gael Clichy is out of contract in the summer and is still uncertain about his future. Clichy, 31, has been a prominent feature in the City back four this year but Pep Guardiola may want to look elsewhere in a younger direction – if so, Liverpool could do well to snap up the experienced left back.

Another option would be Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor, who has already proven himself in the Championship where he is arguably the best left back in the league.

Taylor, 23, fell out with his current club Leeds United last year after he failed to sign a new deal and several Premier League clubs are keeping their eyes on him. With a little help, Taylor could become a very capable player in the top flight.

Liverpool have fantastic centre-backs in Lovren and Matip and before the Crystal Palace loss they held the record of 14 games unbeaten together:

But when those two aren’t fit Liverpool struggle to replace them. They have Klavan, who has played well when either Matip or Lovren aren’t fit but the defence as a whole could benefit from beefing up, especially in the left back position.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 2:11 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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