What’s going wrong for Jurgen Klopp’s defending Premier League champions?

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From Liverpool’s goal drought to problems in midfield and defence, we pick out the issues behind the team’s recent struggles, which has seen the defending champions go five Premier League games without a win and slip six points behind leaders Manchester United.

A successful title defence? The fear after Liverpool’s defeat to Burnley on Thursday night was whether they were now in a battle to even make the top four.

“I cannot remember a time with so many players out of form at the same time,” said Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher after Ashley Barnes’ late penalty handed Liverpool their first defeat at Anfield in the Premier League since April 2017, 69 games ago.

It’s now five Premier League matches without a win for the reigning champions and while they are just six points off the top of the table, their tough upcoming run of fixtures look like they could define Liverpool’s season.

They face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday, and then take on Tottenham (a), West Ham (a), Brighton (h), Man City (h), and Leicester (a) in the league.

Then, just a few days after the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 tie at Bundesliga title chasers RB Leipzig, there’s a Merseyside derby at Anfield.

“If the next run of games do not go well then I have no doubt they will be well out of the title race by the middle of February, the end of February,” said Carragher. “If that happens then Liverpool will be fighting for their lives to be in the Champions League next season.”

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