Despite their impressive successes, Jurgen Klopp will not want to make Liverpool change again.
Liverpool has made a strong defensive start in the Premier League this season.
So far, the Reds have played five games and have only conceded one goal. Even that goal, Kai Havertz’s header in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, had a scent of luck about it.
Indeed, according to Michael Reid of Opta, Liverpool has only surrendered one in their first five league games twice in their history, the last time being in 1977/78.
Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk’s return from injury has undoubtedly aided the Reds’ defensive stability.
Over the years, Liverpool has played 34 league games in which that tandem has started and both played for at least 55 minutes, and they have conceded 20 goals (at a rate of one every 150 minutes).
With a fresh Premier League forecast, Gary Neville asserts that “our eyes don’t lie.”
The Cameroonian centre-back was rested for Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, allowing summer addition Ibrahima Konate to make his Reds debut.
Liverpool’s fourth clean sheet in five league matches (and seventh in their last ten dating back to the end of 2020/21) was all the more impressive given the fact that the entire back four was new from the previous encounter against AC Milan.
The Reds’ defense ailments last season were well-documented, and they don’t need to be mentioned again. Despite the numerous substitutions Jurgen Klopp had to make, with 20 different central defensive partnerships getting a chance to play at some time, he never changed the whole starting back four from one game to the next.
Even if we consider three defensive changes – which occurred between the Palace game and the league game at Leeds that preceded it – there were few precedents last season.
In nine of the games, three-quarters of the back four were replaced from the previous encounter. These are games where changes were made for domestic cup games and then returned to normal for the next league. “The summary has come to an end.”