Liverpool had the best defensive record in their title winning campaign last season as the Reds conceded only 33 goals in the league.

Things haven’t been as good this time around as the Merseyside club share the worst defensive record in the Premier League, along with 17th placed West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, who are sitting bottom of the table.

The three clubs have conceded 14 goals in six matches and three of them came after Virgil van Dijk suffered a knee injury against Everton.

Jürgen Klopp used Fabinho in the former Southampton man’s absence in Liverpool’s back four, but the Brazilian also picked up an injury earlier this week.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen, who previously worked as a scout at Watford and sporting director at AS Monaco, Maccabi Haifa and IK Start, has given his take on Liverpool’s chances of retaining the title after the English champions’ defensive injury woes.

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“That Van Dijk was injured was in itself a disaster. Then Fabinho is also injured. It is clear that they are greatly reduced [in numbers in defence],” Karlsen told VG.

“I don’t envy Klopp and the sports apparatus of Liverpool at all in the task of solving this.”

“You have to build up the attacks in a completely different way, and the mechanisms and relationships that you are so used to, they disappear.”

“There are big challenges, and the defensive position is, from experience, the most difficult position to find someone new in. This complicates the season for Liverpool very much.”

“The Van Dijk injury was the result of a tackle, but as we see with Fabinho, fatigue injuries are starting to come, and it is terribly difficult for clubs to know how much you can actually burden players in the fixtures list that [we have] now.”

“They go well from being a favorite to becoming outsiders here [to win the title].”

Liverpool have collected 13 points after six matches and are second in the table, level on points with league leaders Everton.