By Harvey Byrne
Danny Murphy has highlighted that Liverpool have problems defending set-pieces, while claiming Jurgen Klopp doesn’t know his best back five ahead of the Manchester United fixture.
TV pundit Murphy has tipped his former club as favourites going into the clash at Anfield on Monday evening, but believes the Reds still have their deficiencies at the back.
The defence has been a particular weak spot for the Merseysiders in the past couple of years, with the goals against column not looking favourably upon them and Murphy still believes they are weak in certain areas there.
“They have problems defending set-pieces,” started Murphy writing in his column for BBC Sport. “And I don’t think Klopp knows his best back five yet – he has some work to do there.”
“It looks like another of their summer signings, Loris Karius, is going to be his new number one goalkeeper instead of Simon Mignolet, but he has also been changing his centre-halves, partly because of injury.
“What Klopp needs to do is decide on his best line-up at the back and stick with it because the more often they play together as a unit, the better drilled they will become.
“Klopp will have time to work on defending set-pieces in training because Liverpool are not in Europe and do not have the crazy schedule – Christmas and New Year aside – that he had to put up with last season when they reached the final of the Europa League and the League Cup, and played 63 games.
“I would expect to see some improvement defensively soon but the way his side play, the opposition will always get chances.”
Despite Liverpool’s impressive statistics going forward, they currently have the worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top nine with 10 goals against in seven fixtures.
Manchester United also boast the attacking power of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a threat in the air at set-pieces, alongside emerging star Marcus Rashford.
The two fierce rivals are set to contest in an enthralling encounter with just three points and three places separating the two north west sides in the league table at the moment.