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'Liverpool won't win the league' - Klopp told he must address defence to challenge

7:28 AM SGT 29/8/17
Sadio Mane Liverpool 2017
Former striker Stan Collymore sees the Reds falling short once again in the Premier League title race unless they bring in reinforcements at the back

Liverpool “cannot and will not win the league” unless they address their “defensive frailties”, according to Stan Collymore.

The Reds have headed into the first international break of the 2017-18 campaign buoyed by a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal at Anfield.

Liverpool 15/4 to beat Man City

Jurgen Klopp’s side have collected seven points from their opening three fixtures to sit second in the table and spark talk of a possible Premier League title challenge.

Collymore, though, believes they will come up short in that particular race once again unless they reinforce at the back prior to Thursday’s transfer deadline.

The former Liverpool striker told The People: “Until Jurgen Klopp addresses the defensive frailties his side so clearly have - and maybe goes to three central defenders instead of two - then they cannot and will not win the league.

“Over the course of the season Liverpool, like every other team, will have a poor spell when they're off the boil in front of goal.

“And when that period comes, even if it's only for three or four games, then you can pretty much guarantee they will concede a goal and lose 1-0 against a Burnley, West Brom or Crystal Palace.

“Those are the sort of results that have proved so costly in recent seasons - and they will be costly again.

“Don't get me wrong, I really like the way Klopp's side play, I love the rock 'n' roll nature of the attacking football, and I love the fact that they upgraded the front line again this year.

“But I cannot get truly excited about the team when Klopp hasn't addressed the back four - and I can't help but wonder what he is going to do between the middle of December and end of January, when players naturally plateau.”

Liverpool remain active in the transfer market, with a deal put in place for highly-rated RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita which will be pushed through in 2018.

The Reds have activated a £48 million release clause in his contract which comes into force next summer, but they are also looking to do deals this year.

Monaco’s Thomas Lemar is another top target while talk of a move for Southampton’s want-away defender Virgil van Dijk refuses to go away.