12 Dec 2015

Massive Boost: Klopp confirms Liverpool return for 'spectacular' £18m powerhouse. Game over for Lovren?

Daniel Sturridge aside, Liverpool are gradually overcoming the injury issues that have plagued the club all season, and Klopp has now confirmed that another key Reds player is on the verge of returning to first-team action.

During his pre-match press conference today, Klopp told reporters:

“Mama has trained now. There are no more issues with the knee and everything is okay, now he has to work to be a real option for us. Next week for sure, he will be available if nothing more happens.”

This is good news, but with Lovren in fine form, Sakho - recently hailed by Jurgen Klopp as 'spectacular' - will find it hard to get back in the team.

Many Liverpool fans will inevitably call for Sakho to immediately replace Lovren, but the reality is that Liverpool are *better* defensively this season with Lovren in the team.


* 12 goals conceded in 14 starts (1 every 111 mins)

* 7 clean sheets in 13 starts (54% of games/1 every 191 mins)


* 10 goals conceded in 10 starts (1 every 85 mins)

* 2 clean sheets in 10 starts (20% of games/1 every 431 mins).

As you can see, Liverpool concede fewer goals, and achieve significantly more clean sheets with Lovren in the team, ergo Liverpool are more effective defensively with Lovren in the team. This is an irrefutable fact.

This will make no difference to some fans, though. Their prejudice against Lovren will override the actual facts, and they'll still insist that Sakho is 'better', and should be in the team ahead of the Croatian. As an example, here is a comment posted on the site a few days ago:

"When Sakho's fit he walks straight back into the team. Lovren has not played with anything remotely close to Sakho's consistent brilliance".

As the stats above show, this contention is not supported by the actual reality, and it represents another example of how individual perception is grossly inaccurate compared to objective facts.

The team comes before the individual, and given Lovren's form right now (vindicated by a 'Player of the Month' nomination), he should stay in the team.

Author: Jaimie K


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