Keeping shape key to tightening Reds' rearguard

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp working on his side's tactical discipline during training ahead of today's Champions League clash at Spartak Moscow. They may lack defensive nous, but scoring goals is not an issue, with Klopp set to field his first-cho
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp working on his side's tactical discipline during training ahead of today's Champions League clash at Spartak Moscow. They may lack defensive nous, but scoring goals is not an issue, with Klopp set to field his first-choice attacking quartet for the first time.ST PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp is determined to stop Liverpool from leaking goals this season, but has faith in the way his side are playing ahead of today's Champions League trip to Spartak Moscow.

The Merseyside club ended a four-game winless run by beating Leicester 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday, but have conceded 18 goals over 10 games in all competitions.

"It's obvious we concede too many, there's no doubt. That's really hard for me," the Liverpool manager told reporters. "Usually, I'm a really good defensive coach, but obviously that has not worked too well so far.

"The main thing is tactical discipline. I don't know everything about football, but I could write a book in the next two hours about which space to defend, why, when and where you have to be."

The Reds missed out on Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk in the summer and while left-back Andrew Robertson was the only defender added in the transfer window, Klopp says he is happy with his squad.

"We will be fine. It's how it is. I have faith, not only (in our offence), but in our squad," he said.

Star forward Sadio Mane is part of Liverpool's 21-man squad for the trip to Moscow after serving a three-match domestic ban. That means Klopp has the option of starting the first-choice quartet of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Mane for the first time.

Spartak Moscow manager Massimo Carrera has challenged his injury-hit side to face Liverpool without fear.

The Russian champions will be without Dutch striker Quincy Promes, captain Denis Glushakov, striker Ze Luis and midfielder Jano Ananidze due to injuries.

"We will have 11 players on the pitch, others will go in, and we will play our game," he told a news conference yesterday. "We know that we are playing a strong team with quality players. Our job is to play our game without fear."

REUTERS


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Keeping shape key to tightening Reds' rearguard'. Print Edition | Subscribe