Liverpool’s defensive options are the strongest in the Premier League this season and Jürgen Klopp can use this to his advantage to keep his players on their toes.
The return to fitness by Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joël Matip, plus the addition of Ibrahima Konaté, means Liverpool can play with any of these two and still look extremely strong.
Van Dijk is the number one centre half in the world and is vital for his leadership in the backline, but it could be up in the air as to who partners the Dutchman in this next week.
Matip has been one of Liverpool’s best performers so far this season as the Reds went into Saturday’s game at Brentford having conceded just a single goal in the Premier League.
However, the defensive display Liverpool showed at Brentford was shocking to see, especially since it was Klopp’s first-choice back five that was out there.
It was the type of crazy game in which Liverpool haven’t often been involved in since the arrival of Van Dijk from Southampton back in January 2018.
So many times Liverpool have gone a goal up and been able to comfortably see the game out given the assurance they have at the back, but this game wasn’t like this — Liverpool weren’t their usual selves at the back and Klopp could use this to shake things up.
The Reds face a huge week as they travel to Portugal to take on Porto in the Champions League before they welcome the champions Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday evening.
Liverpool have the chance to sit comfortably in their tough Champions League group and could potentially put four points between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League.
Sunday feels like a massive game already, especially given the sheer quality in the Premier League title race this season — the strongest race for quite some time.
Man City will come into the game full of confidence after their impressive victory at Stamford Bridge, but they face a tricky encounter before travelling to Anfield as they take on Lionel Messi’s PSG on Tuesday night.
Sunday’s match has been the Premier League’s showpiece game for a few years now as the last four Premier League titles have been won by these two sides — a trend that could continue this campaign.
Klopp knows just how competitive the Premier League title race is this season and will be slightly irritated by dropping two points at Brentford, especially after taking the lead late in the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was often isolated against two or three men and the right-back did well given the circumstances but there’s only so much he can defensively when heavily outnumbered.
The 22-year-old needed Matip to come and back him up, but he was short of that support and a chance may be beckoning for either Konaté or Gomez in that right-sided centre back slot.
It’s easy to forget just how good of a partnership Gomez and Van Dijk formed in the Reds’ title-winning campaign — Gomez improved and grew massively with the guidance of the Dutchman next to him.
If it wasn’t for the terrible knee injury he suffered while away on England duty, Gomez may well have been one of the most talked about centre-halves in Europe, but his talents have largely been forgotten about.
Gomez and Van Dijk formed a friendship like no other as they went through their rehab journey together last season and they know each other inside out.
We are yet to see them together out on the pitch so far this season, but this testing week for Liverpool may be the week that we see it return.
“[The display against Brentford was] not that much of a concern because we should not make these things bigger than they are,” Klopp said in pre-match press conference insisting that mistakes had been ‘sorted’.
But an alteration in personnel could still remain on the cards.