‘Liverpool strikers aren’t getting tested in training’ – Defensive injuries are causing attacking faults, says James

Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2020-21
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The former Reds goalkeeper believes the struggle for goals being endured by Jurgen Klopp’s side is down to a lack of match sharpness

Liverpool’s struggle for goals can be put down to the defensive injury issues being endured by the Reds says David James, who says Jurgen Klopp’s attacking unit is not getting enough competitive training.

The reigning Premier League champions have failed to find the target in their last four top-flight outings and are without a win in five.

Prior to hitting an alarming slump, seven goals had been plundered at Crystal Palace in what was considered to be another serious marker put down by a side looking to defend their crown.

However the absence of key men such as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez is doing their collective cause few favours, with James suggesting that the predatory instincts of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have diminished as they are not being tested away from match action.

The former Reds goalkeeper has told talkSPORT: “Confidence seems to be an issue, and things are obviously not particularly great at the moment.

“I think one of the big problems for Liverpool is, because they have lost so many defenders, you have to ask the question whether in training Liverpool are getting the quality of defending against those strikers.

“Therefore, when you come into a real match you end up against top-drawer, well-drilled defenders who are not allowing you to do what you’re doing in training, you struggle.”

While admitting that Liverpool have become stuck in a rut, James sees no reason to panic as chances are still being created by Klopp’s side.

He added: “Nick Pope had a great game, Karl Darlow had a great game against Liverpool for Newcastle and Sam Johnstone had a great game for West Brom. From a goalkeeper’s perspective, when your goalie is doing so well in stopping the goals, it’s not the strikers’ fault.

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“Any of those shots go in, then we’re not talking about Liverpool in a dilemma situation.

“In their last three games, Burnley have drawn two of them at Anfield; so it wasn’t so much of a surprise as they’ve been a bit of a thorn for Liverpool.

“You know what you’re going to get from Burnley, and if Liverpool won that game 1-0 we’d all talk about it not being a classic win but just doing enough, and great teams do enough - that coin flips so easily - but this time Burnley were fantastic. They played the perfect game.”