The momentum Liverpool had built up from three wins in a row against Rangers, Manchester City and West Ham United came to a grinding halt as the goals dried up at the City Ground.
There’s no question that the Merseysiders have been hit hard by injuries – Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are big misses in the forward line – which has undoubtedly hampered the club’s offensive prowess.
The return of Darwin Nunez to the fray in Amsterdam, after Jurgen Klopp confirmed the Uruguayan ‘is available’ in his pre-match press conference, is a welcome one in that regard.
Looking at just our No.27’s – the man the former Dortmund boss labelled a ‘machine’ (courtesy of Liverpool’s official YouTube channel) – shot rate (courtesy of the Premier League’s official stats) compared to fellow goalscorers Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino may offer some insight behind why the German’s men struggled for goals against Nottingham Forest:
Mo Salah (11 league games)
36 shots – 3.27 shots per game
0.27 goals per game
Firmino (10 league games)
26 shots – 2.6 shots per game
0.60 goals per game
Nunez (seven league games)
28 shots – four shots per game
0.43 goals per game
It’s worth noting that the Brazilian hitman’s goals-per-game rate is inflated somewhat by his world-class showing against Bournemouth.
Not that it should count against him but a third of his total league goals have come in one fixture whereas Nunez’s domestic efforts have been spread across three games.
This is an impeccably basic overview, which admittedly also fails to take into consideration missing playmaker Thiago Alcantara in the equation.
Still, it can’t be ignored that our visit to Nottingham produced the fewest shots in total out of our last four games (across all competitions).
With a higher goals per game rate than Salah, ideally we want the former Penarol man available and in the box as often as possible.