Liverpool fans have given their backing to much-maligned centre-back Dejan Lovren, urging manager Jurgen Klopp to select the Croatian ahead of Joel Matip for Liverpool's next match.
Amidst a sea of praise for Liverpool's attacking dynamism, there were a number of dissenting voices calling for Matip to be replaced by Lovren next weekend.
Since Van Dijk has came, you can actually see how shaky and uncomfortable Matip looks on the field. Compared to Lovren. I’d say the best match out of the two now is Dejan, and he’s the one who most Liverpool fans used to slate. Madness!— TDW🧙🏼♂️ (@TheDZNWizard) February 24, 2018
Lovren > Matip for me atm. Dunno what happened to him but Matip looks so shakey at the back. Lovren and VVD also look to have the more natural chemistry— Robbie (@KloppsLegion) February 24, 2018
Matip is worse than Lovren at the moment. That's bordering on indisputable.— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) February 24, 2018
Van Dijk has quickly established himself as Liverpool's first-choice centre-back since moving to Anfield from Southampton for £75m last month. Matip has started alongside Van Dijk five times; Lovren twice.
By far Liverpool's worst defensive performance during that time was against West Brom in the FA Cup, where Matip and Van Dijk conceded three goals in the first half against the Premier League's bottom club.
Matip was also brought on against Tottenham with Liverpool winning 1-0, whereupon Tottenham scored twice in the last ten minutes to salvage a draw.
Lovren has often been the target of criticism from Liverpool supporters and neutrals alike, with Dennis Wise claiming last week that he and goalkeeper Loris Karius were the two players who could stand between Liverpool and silverware.
But he impressed alongside Van Dijk in the Champions League last week as Liverpool won 5-0 in Portugal against Porto.
Whatever defensive issues Liverpool may have, they are flying at the moment, with only one defeat in their last nineteen Premier League matches. Front three Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have 66 goals between them this season.
Liverpool welcome former manager Rafa Benitez back to Anfield next weekend as they host Newcastle, before the return leg against Porto on Tuesday week.