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Liverpool can't challenge for the title with their defence, warns Nicol

13:59 GMT+3 24/01/2017
HD Jurgen Klopp
The former Reds midfielder says no team will take the Premier League crown "shipping goals" like Jurgen Klopp's side have been doing this season

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has warned the Anfield class of 2016-17 that “a team doesn’t win the Premier League shipping goals in the way they do”.

The Reds have been a free-scoring outfit this season, with no side in the English top-flight able to better their return of 51 efforts in 22 fixtures.

Coutinho close to new contract

Leaks have been sprung at the back on an alarmingly frequent basis, though, with Manchester City (28) the only side in the top six to have been breached on more occasions that Jurgen Klopp’s team (27).

Worryingly for Liverpool, their inability to keep the back door bolted has been exposed all too regularly by sides that they would be expected to contain.

Since the start of December, Bournemouth have hit four past the Reds, while Sunderland managed two and Swansea City three.

Nicol believes a lack of clean sheets will end up costing Klopp’s side dear, with it difficult to see how they can force their way back into the title picture.

Klopp calls for Liverpool enjoyment

He told ESPN FC: "I don't see Liverpool winning the Premier League title with the defence they have.

"They don't look as if they are going to bring anyone in this window, which means they've got what they've got.

"When they let in the goals that they have done - not just at Swansea, against Burnley - [they are] perfect examples that it's not happening.

"Bournemouth - four goals at Bournemouth. A team doesn't win the Premier League shipping goals in the way they do."

Klopp: I won't buy new defenders

Klopp has admitted that he is not looking to bolster his ranks at the back during the January transfer window, with the German of the opinion that Liverpool need to get things right as a collective, rather than point the finger of blame at one area of the team.

He said: “You always speak about defence, or players. I speak about the whole defence of the team. If it was to buy one player and fix it, I'd be silly not to do it but it's not that simple.”