How Liverpool’s record with Joel Matip starting compares to Gomez & Lovren

Virgil van Dijk has been a colossus at the back for Liverpool over the last two seasons – but how do the three centre-backs who’ve played alongside him compare?

Joel Matip had a promising 2018-19 season but fell behind Joe Gomez in the pecking order in 2019-20 and has been linked with a transfer away despite Dejan Lovren having already joined Zenit Saint Petersburg. The Reds have been once again linked with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly – and Brighton’s Ben White – among others this off-season.

We’ve taken a closer look at Liverpool’s Premier League record with each of Matip, Gomez and Lovren starting at centre-back since the start of the 2018-19 season.

With Matip starting at CB

Games: 25
Wins: 19
Draws: 6
Losses: 0

Win rate: 76%
Loss rate: 0%

Points per game: 2.52
Goals conceded per game: 0.64
Clean sheet ratio: 48%

With Gomez starting at CB

Games: 30
Wins: 25
Draws: 3
Losses: 2

Win rate: 83.3%
Loss rate: 6.7%%

Points per game: 2.6
Goals conceded per game: 0.7
Clean sheet ratio: 53.3%

With Lovren starting at CB

Games: 20
Wins: 17
Draws: 1
Losses: 2

Win rate: 85%
Loss rate: 10%

Points per game: 2.6
Goals conceded per game: 0.9
Clean sheet ratio: 35%

As the stats show, Liverpool have actually earned the fewest points per game with Matip starting over the past two seasons.

But they only conceded 0.64 goals per game with Matip in the team and didn’t lose a single one of the 25 Premier League games he’s started across those two years.

It’s notable, meanwhile, that Lovren has by far the lowest clean sheet ratio out of the trio and also concedes the most goals per game. It certainly makes sense that Klopp saw him as the most expendable centre-back – but it will be interesting to see if the German genuinely does feel the same way about Matip.

Overall, as you’d expect, all three centre-backs have a pretty damn impressive record – but then Liverpool could probably play a mannequin alongside Van Dijk and still do alright. He is, after all, so good he could probably play up front and be world-class there, too.

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