The Chalkboard: Liverpool full-backs could struggle if Watford play high wingers

Liverpool will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League on Saturday with a visit to Vicarage Road to play a Watford team who have been performing better than many would have expected so far this season, and the home side could cause big problems for Liverpool’s full-backs.

On the chalkboard

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is clearly a huge fan of the modern trend that sees the full-backs on both sides of the pitch playing high and wide to be considered a part of the attacking threat. In Andrew Robertson and youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, the German boss also now has two of the best in the league.

For example, 24-year-old left-back Robertson already has five assists in 15 appearances throughout all competitions this season, and his performances have earned him the honour of being named Scotland’s new captain.

Scouse right-back Alexander-Arnold has also benefitted from Klopp’s coaching and system, and his attacking intent was evident when he popped up in the box to score his first goal for England against the USA last week.

However, the pair could be placed under pressure on Saturday if Watford boss Javi Gracia makes one tactical change to his formation.

Pushing back

Gracia has tended to favour a 4-2-2-2 formation in recent weeks, but against Liverpool he could well deploy a 4-3-3 with Roberto Pereyra and former Everton man Gerard Deulofeu on each wing.

Pereyra and Deulofeu are both technically gifted players that love to drift out wide and cut in naturally, as they have already proved on multiple occasions already this season, to help Watford to seventh in the Premier League table.

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Starting them both out wide though with Troy Deeney through the middle would allow the Watford men to stay high, pinning back the Liverpool full-backs who would not be able to attack as freely if they knew they had to get back in when the ball was lost.

This one change then could neutralise the considerable threat that Alexander-Arnold and Robertson possess, and the Liverpool full-backs will need to be ready for this to happen for often as they are targeted throughout the season.