With four months left of the season to play, there is still a chance Liverpool will end the 2020/21 campaign with some silverware. However, things have been far more difficult for Jurgen Klopp’s side this year.
Following up their first league championship in 30 years was always going to be a tough task. This Liverpool team have been so consistent over the last three seasons, with two Champions League final appearances to their name.
Their 4-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City at Anfield and a loss against Leicester City left them with work to do to even finish in the Champions League spaces this season. What has caused this slump in form?
Losing VVD And Gomez To Injury
Unlike previous years under Klopp, Liverpool have been very unlucky with injuries this season, particularly at the back. They lost Virgil van Dijk back in October and there remains no clear timeframe on when the former PFA Player of the Year may return to the team.
To make matters worse for Klopp, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have also been out of action at the same time. This has meant he has had to field a makeshift back four, with midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson filling in at Centre back.
Liverpool were really solid defensively last season. They have already shipped in 29 goals in the 2020/21 season – that’s 15 more than their rivals Manchester City.
Title Defense Historically Hard To Do
Liverpool will be fully aware that teams have overcome a 10 point+ deficit at this stage of the season to win the title so they will keep fighting until the end. They are now +2500 in the Space Casino football betting for the title. Those odds suggest they have it all to do.
Over the last 10 years in the Premier League, only one team has been able to defend their crown. Manchester City managed the feat in 2019. Manchester United made it look easy in the 90s and 00s under Sir Alex Ferguson, but otherwise, many winners have been unable to follow it up the year after.
A record equaling 20th league championship in England could come next season for Liverpool. Klopp will be hoping his players respond well to their setbacks this year. The Liverpool boss is sure to add fresh faces to his squad in the summer which may just help their chances.
Change In Style Of Midfield
One of the big differences to the tempo of their team this season has been the addition of Thiago. The former Bayern Munich midfielder helped the German side win the Champions League back in 2020.
Although there is no doubting the ability of the Spanish international, his style of play is much different than what we are used to seeing from Liverpool midfielders. Thiago is a player who likes to take a little longer on the ball before picking out his pass.
Klopp will no doubt find a way of integrating Thiago into his team but at the same time keeping that fast tempo that his side are known for. The 29-year-old may still play a crucial role in helping the team go to the next level.
As long as the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino remain at the club, expect to see Liverpool win a lot of football matches again in 2021. This latest slump could help reignite the team back to the top.