Despite Liverpool's good form, defence is still a lingering concern as the stats show
The Watford match is a meeting of the two most error-prone sides from last season14:25 Saturday 5 November 2016, 14:25 5 Nov 2016
There is often little middle ground in the world of football.
Teams are usually a result or two from riding a crest of a wave. Or conversely, they are an adverse result away from being associated with that term "crisis".
For Liverpool in their first full season under Jurgen Klopp's tutelage, there is a feel-good factor about them.
Joint-top of the Premier League table with Manchester City and Arsenal on 23 points, they also don't have to worry about European commitments this season.
As Off The Ball's Kevin Kilbane put it a couple of weeks ago, the ability to focus on one competition in the main "does play into Liverpool’s hands this season" because of the intensity they play at week-to-week.
After the international break, their fixture list is a mix of the tricky in the shape of Southampton and Bournemouth and winnable on paper when you take into account Sunderland's form.
But before all that, this Sunday Liverpool welcome Watford to Anfield at 2.15pm and it's a meeting of the sides who committed the most defensive errors last season.
Liverpool made the most defensive mistakes of any team with a grand total of 32 throughout 2015-16, with Watford a close second with 28 according to stats by Squawka.
The Hornets' statistic was even one error more than a hopeless Aston Villa side that went down.
It was a similar story for Liverpool in the 2014-15 season, when centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel were particularly culpable.
Last December's 3-0 win for Watford last December at Vicarage Road highlighted that error prone nature from a Liverpool perspective when goalkeeper Adam Bogdan's error led to an early goal for Nathan Ake.
The Reds were hampered by individual errors at the back with Simon Mignolet the worst offender statistically in that regard in the entire Premier League with six mistakes - four leading to a goal.
Fast forward a few months and Loris Karius has assumed the mantle of Liverpool No 1 in goal in Klopp's eyes.
Karius and Mignolet
He has yet to commit a major error since coming into the side, although as a defensive unit, Liverpool have only kept one clean sheet in the five league matches that the German has featured between the sticks.
Yet overall, Liverpool are still riding high at the top of the stats when it comes to defensive errors with five from 10 games. Only Manchester City have more.
Those five errors have been spread out among the out-field players so far and a couple of things are helping the back-line.
Karius' and Joel Matip's arrivals as well as improvements from the likes of Dejan Lovren are key.
But as Kilbane also pointed out, pressure is taken off the back-line thanks to the intense pressing at the top end of the field, led by a fluid front-line and midfield.
But more worryingly for Klopp defensively - and as flagged a couple of weeks ago after the West Brom match - it's the set-piece issue at the back that also needs to be examined. Of the five goals conceded by Loris Karius, three have come from corners.
If there is a lesson from the 2013-14 season when Liverpool went close to the title, all the firepower up front rarely compensates fully for a porous defence.
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