Any criticism directed towards Liverpool this season has been primarily fuelled by a belief that Jurgen Klopp’s men are incapable of breaking down packed defences.
Last weekend’s defeat at home to Crystal Palace unearthed these claims once again after they had initially emerged following disappointing results against Hull and Swansea earlier this year.
Though there is admittedly substance to some of the arguments being put forward by fans and pundits, Liverpool proved during the early months of the campaign that they could overcome deep lying defensive units. The Reds went someway towards showing this with respective 5-1 and 6-1 wins over Hull and Watford, who the Reds will face on Monday night.
“Since November, a lot of things have changed at Watford,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“The style of play is different. They have developed and are a good football playing side. But we aren’t there to praise their skills, we go there to fight them and give our best. We have won our last two away games.”
“We know how to play against deep defending teams. You have to accept you won’t have 20 chances at Watford. We need to defend as well as possible and use the chances we create.”
This team is more than equipped to dispose of teams that sit deep. Whether Liverpool have always played to the best of their ability in order to do this is another matter. There have been times throughout the season, including the loss to Palace, where it just has to be accepted that Klopp’s attacking stars haven’t done enough to win the game.
On a positive note, though, both Stoke and West Brom sat back and both times Roberto Firmino was able to earn his team a win. A similar performance could well be what is required on Monday.