Liverpool are in an extremely healthy position in the Premier League at present.
The Reds are top of the table having taken 34 points from a possible 36.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have flown out of the blocks and are currently eight points clear of Leicester City and Chelsea, who are in second and third respectively.
Liverpool’s main rivals Manchester City have slipped to fourth in the table following the Reds’ 3-1 win over them before the international break.
The champions have provided a fairly weak defence of their title so far, and Lee Dixon has pointed to what he thinks is the main reason Liverpool have surged ahead.
He said on The Season So Far (Mirror): “I’m trying to put it down to one thing, I would probably say [Aymeric] Laporte getting injured for me is the biggest factor.
“I think he is a brilliant defender, I think he holds down that left-hand side of the defence, whoever is playing at left-back he can kind of control that side of the pitch and obviously his centre-half on the inside. So that’s a big area of pitch to replace somebody.”
TBR’s view – The biggest of many problems
Losing Leroy Sane at the very beginning has hit City hard, but Laporte’s absence has been massive.
It’s as Dixon says – the Frenchman is a brilliant defender, something that can easily get lost as a result of his abilities as a ball-player.
City are shipping goals in his absence, and it’s putting extra pressure on the forwards to bail the team out.
With Vincent Kompany having departed, it was perhaps on Laporte to become the new force of the defence and injury has robbed him of that role.