Liverpool look to shore up defence against Huddersfield
LIVERPOOL, Jan 29, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Joel Matip accepts Liverpool must
quickly resolve the defensive problems that sparked their FA Cup exit ahead
of a Premier League visit to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp acknowledged his side were guilty of making
mistakes for each of West Browmich Albion’s goals in the visitors’ 3-2 cup
win at Anfield that ended Liverpool’s lengthy unbeaten home run.
Defeat came on the back of Liverpool’s shock 1-0 reverse at Premier
League basement club Swansea City.
Now, two weeks after the Merseysiders enjoyed the high of becoming the
first team to beat Manchester City in domestic competition this season,
Klopp’s side are in need of another lift.
Cameroon centre-back Matip accepted responsibility for one of West
Brom’s goals and the defender acknowledged Liverpool cannot afford a repeat
when they face Huddersfield if they are to keep a firm hold on a top-four
spot and a guaranteed place in next season’s Champions League.
– ‘Kill every team’ –
“We started in front, our offensive play was okay, but in the defence we
had problems,” Matip told Liverpoolfc.com after the West Brom defeat.
“Mistakes like my one kill every team. This mistake cannot happen, I
have to clear this ball.
“In the first half, (conceding) three goals, it hurts every team. It was
really hard to come back then.
“We have to do everything to turn things around, to get in better shape
and get better results.”
Klopp agreed the turnaround must start this week when he is reunited
with his longstanding friend David Wagner, the Huddersfield manager.
“First we have to really think about what happened (against West Brom)
and make ourselves ready for Huddersfield,” said Klopp.
“A long run starts with the first game and that’s on Tuesday,” the
Adam Lallana missed the West Brom game with a small muscle tear and
could be back in contention for the trip to Yorkshire, although having been
sidelined for much of the season, the England midfielder will not be risked
if there is any threat of causing more damage.
Daniel Sturridge was omitted from the matchday squad on Saturday,
prompting further questions about the striker’s future at Anfield.
Huddersfield have not been in the relegation zone all season, but sit
just two points above the bottom three after a six-match run without a
Premier League win.
Survival would be a remarkable achievement for a club operating on a
minimal budget by top-flight standards, but the fact that they have gathered
only nine points from their past 13 matches suggests it may be a struggle.
A 2-0 defeat at relegation rivals Stoke in their most recent league
game, on January 20, was a significant setback, and the FA Cup has provided
little consolation since then, with a team showing eight changes held 1-1 at
home by Championship strugglers Birmingham on Saturday.
Midfielder Danny Williams suffered a back injury in the cup game and is
a doubt, although Aaron Mooy would have been expected to return to replace
Huddersfield visit Manchester United four days after facing Liverpool,
and Wagner has warned his players must cut out individual errors or risk
“We are making too many mistakes in attack and too many mistakes in the
defence and this means it’s difficult to win,” said Wagner.