Alisson is saving fewer shots than last season and Mo Salah is taking fewer. This way for more concerning numbers for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp…
Very few of Liverpool’s players can reflect with much pride over their form this season. Here are just a few of the stats that must be keeping Klopp awake at night right now. Players are listed in order of most minutes played…
The Liverpool keeper has saved only 66.7% of the shots he has faced this season compared to 75.3% last season. Which is more worrying when you consider he is facing more shots on target – 3.75 per 90 minutes this term, up from 2.69.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk’s defensive stats are generally down across the board. One summary being that tackles and interceptions per 90 are down from 2.0 to 1.3. In possession, the centre-back has gone from losing possession 8.5 times per game to 11.1.
Salah has averaged 2.9 shots per game, a 25% drop off compared to 3.9 per game last season. Which means he is currently level with Granit Xhaka for goals (two) and assists (three).
We don’t need stats to tell us that Alexander-Arnold is struggling defensively. Anyone with eyes can draw their own conclusions. Where he is supposedly untouchable is creatively, but he is yet to offer an assist this season and his expected assists are down from 0.35 per game to 0.12.
The Colombian has been one of the few Reds to show some reasonable form this season, which makes his injury an even bigger blow. But Diaz’s shot creating actions per 90 minutes are well down, from 4.6 last season to 1.91 this term.
The Brazilian is making more tackles and winning a slightly higher percentage compared to last season. But Fabinho’s interceptions are well down from 2.18 to 1.29, bringing his overall tackles and interceptions combined down from 4.4 per 90 minutes to 3.87.
Liverpool’s problems would be even worse were it not for Bobby Firmino, who has already matched his total goals and assists record from last season with six strikes of his own while teeing up three more for team-mates. If we must be critical – and we must – Firmino’s tackles and interceptions combined are down from 3.45 per 90 minutes to 1.54, perhaps indicative of the collective failure of Liverpool to press from the front.
10 – With 10 points from eight games so far, this is Liverpool’s worst return at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 2012-13 (9 points), when they ultimately finished 7th. Fragile. pic.twitter.com/GcDNvVNvIX
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 9, 2022
It’s hard to assess Elliott since he missed so much of last season with a serious ankle injury, and the fact he has already surpassed the minutes played is a good thing. But the teenager is attempting – and completing – 10 fewer passes per game, while his shot creating actions are down from 5.46 per 90 minutes to 4.66.
The captain’s tackles attempted and tackles won per 90 are down from 1.28 to 0.98 and 0.83 to 0.78 respectively. Pressures are down too, from 16.2 to 14.1, resulting in fewer successful pressures per 90 from 5.05 to 3.73.
With Gomez’s biggest nightmare coming in the Champions League at Napoli, it is difficult to pick many holes in his defensive stats in the Premier League having already played more minutes than he managed last season. Since we must, he has won a smaller proportion of his aerial duels, coming out on top of 57.1% compared to 68.4% last term.
Liverpool’s full-backs have a huge creative responsibility and, in that respect, Robertson’s numbers are down. Last season he averaged 3.37 shot creating actions per 90 minutes; this season he’s on 2.44. Last term, 23% of his shot creating actions came from dead balls; this season it’s up to 55%.
The Greek left-back, seeing plenty of action due to Andy Robertson’s injury, has some solid defensive stats behind him this season. Going forward, though, he has been less adventurous, averaging 1.94 carries into the final third this season, down from 4.02 last term. His mis-controls are also up from 0.41 per 90 minutes to 1.29.
The veteran is attempting fewer passes per game – 65.7 compared to 78.8 – with a lower completion rate of 78.7%, down from 83.2%. Defensively, Milner is making fewer than half the successful pressures per 90 that he achieved last season – 3.67 compared to 7.16 last term. Overall, his tackles and interceptions combined are down by a third from six per 90 minutes to four.
We haven’t included Fabio Carvalho in this list since he was playing for Fulham in the Championship last season. Nunez was in the Champions League and he cost a sodding fortune so he doesn’t escape scrutiny. The one stat that jumps out is the striker’s shooting accuracy. Last season, 51.8% of his efforts were on target. This season that figure is down to 31.6%.
The centre-back’s tackles per game and interceptions per game are both down from 1.5 and 1.4 to 1.2 and 1 respectively. Matip also won 68% of his duels last season; that’s now down to 45%
As Liverpool’s string-puller-in-chief, Thiago’s progressive passes are down from 10.3 per 90 minutes to 7.2. The Spaniard is also playing fewer passes into the box (1.29 v 0.8) and the final third (11.7 v 7.6).
Read more: Premier League five-year net spend table: Liverpool just above Man City in ninth