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Jurgen Klopp

Three things Liverpool must do to secure Champions League football this season

Liverpool's English defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) reacts after missing a late freekick during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 1, 2022

Liverpool have not started the 2022/23 campaign well. They are the lowest of the ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League table, sitting in ninth position after seven games.

The last time Liverpool made such an underwhelming start in the Premier League was in 2014-15 when they had 10 points after their first seven matches under Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool have only two wins in the league. They have drawn four matches and lost one to Manchester United.

Their latest game against Brighton & Hove Albion saw the Seagulls take a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes, much to Jurgen Klopp’s surprise.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 manager will be disappointed with his team’s performances this season.

The main danger right now is that if Liverpool keep up this pace, they will miss out on the Champions League. European football has been a guarantee under Klopp, but that could change if they do not get certain things right.

Liverpool have not missed the Champions League since the 2015/16 season. The Merseyside club will hope to avoid any such mishaps.

Here are three things Liverpool must do to secure Champions League football this season.

Bench Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold has never been the best defender, but he has become a constant liability in Liverpool’s backline.

The first goal from Brighton came from his poorly headed clearance. He had a chance to redeem himself before Leandro Trossard pulled the trigger, but he slipped.

Alexander-Arnold was the only Liverpool defender not in the box when Trossard netted his second. It has been a running theme this season.

His defensive issues are more pronounced now that Liverpool’s structure is not as solid as it once was.

The right-back has come under criticism for poor positioning, getting beat in 1v1 situations, and neglecting his defensive duties. 

Klopp could give the 23-year-old a little rest to find his best form before returning to the first team picture. It could do the player and the club some good.

Sign some midfield reinforcements in January

Liverpool’s midfield issues are well documented. Even Klopp admitted that his side needs a new midfielder. The Reds lack creativity and fit bodies in the middle of the park.

The winter transfer window presents an opportunity for Klopp to strengthen his side.

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones are out. Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson have just returned from injuries. Fabinho and James Milner are injury-prone and off form.

Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho are promising youngsters but need to settle in gradually.

Julian Ward must find some quality players for Klopp to help stabilise things. They need some creativity from midfield in the squad.

Stop starting games poorly

Liverpool conceded against Brighton in the fourth minute. They were two goals down in 20 minutes.

It is the 10th time Liverpool have conceded first in their last 15 competitive games.

In their Champions League tie against Napoli, Liverpool conceded three big chances to the Partenopei in the first 15 minutes.

Against Manchester United, they conceded to Jadon Sancho after 16 minutes.

Liverpool start games poorly and then struggle to nick points. Klopp believes that not getting the first goal has impacted their recent form.

After the Brighton draw, Klopp said (via Sky Sports), “I spoke to the boys in a similar way to how I speak to you. I don’t know how many times I have to say we need a reaction.

“The first goal has an impact on both teams. They felt like they are flying. We felt like okay, here’s this rubbish start again.”

Liverpool continue to hand opponents the first advantage, and they struggle to muster comebacks. They must cut this out to finish in the top four this season.

Comeback after comeback is not sustainable, and they need to address this now.

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