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Arne Slot will already know what he needs to change at Liverpool – and stats prove it

Arne Slot arrives as Liverpool head coach with a strong squad that exceeded expectations in 2023/24, but their Premier League form shows a key issue to fix.

Jurgen Klopp was adamant that he would not depart Liverpool until he felt he was leaving his successor with a squad in top shape.

Despite its hiccups, the 2023/24 campaign proved that to be the case, with a revamp of the midfield addressing the biggest problem when it came to personnel a year ago.

Slot officially takes up his post on June 1, with the Dutchman clearly eager to get to work with his new players when pre-season begins the following month.

He and his staff will already be hard at work, having admitted he would “watch a lot of games” from the season just gone as he explores Liverpool’s strengths and weaknesses.

One key area he will be hoping to solve, of course, will be Liverpool’s habit of slow starts.


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First and second half tables

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Based on scores in the first half of games only, Liverpool would have finished fifth in this season’s Premier League.

Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa would all have finished above Klopp’s side.

But Liverpool were champions when it came to second-half scorelines only.

 

Goal times

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the ninth minute of injury time during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s worst period when it comes to finding the back of the net in the Premier League was 0-15 minutes, with only three scored in that time.

Sheffield United are the only team to have scored fewer in the first 15 minutes of games.

It is also the only period when Liverpool didn’t score more than they conceded, with Brentford, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Wolves the only sides to concede more early goals than Liverpool’s eight.

In terms of their best period for goals, the Reds were most prolific between 76-90 minutes, with 27 scored – more than any other team – and 10 conceded.

Liverpool were level with Luton for the latest average minute for goals in the Premier League (56 minutes).

 

Conceding first

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Wolverhampton Wanderers score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The difference between champions and challengers is often the ability to get in front and stay in front.

That shows when it comes to Liverpool’s total of games in which they conceded first, shipping the opening goal in 16 of their 38 league games.

Six of those were at Anfield and 10 away from home.

Arsenal meanwhile conceded first the fewest times, at eight in total, with five at home and three away. Man City conceded first in 11 games, with three at home and eight away.

Man City led games for a league-high 49.7 percent of minutes, with Arsenal second at 42.3 percent and Liverpool third at a much lower 34.2 percent.

Only West Ham (21 minutes) had an earlier average time for opening goals conceded than Liverpool (25 minutes).

However, Liverpool (1.5 PPG) were behind only Man City (1.82 PPG) for points per game earned when their opponents scored first.

 

Home and away

The difference in Liverpool’s form at Anfield and on the road was shown in their tendency to concede first more often away than at home.

But it is summed up by the fact that, based on their 19 home results only, Klopp’s side would have finished top of the Premier League.

On away form, Liverpool were the third-best side in the league behind actual champions Man City and runners-up Arsenal.

Only Newcastle (+1.06) had a higher points-per-game difference between their home and away form, Liverpool earning +0.74 more points per game at home than they did away.


FotMob is an essential app for every fan to keep up to date with their team or follow football worldwide, their incredible new features provide all you could ever want and information you never knew you needed! You can download the FotMob App here.