86% Pass Success: Why This Returning Hero Could Boost Liverpool’s CL Dreams
Liverpool had to battle back from a Kolo Toure own goal to earn themselves all three points against Fulham on Wednesday night.
The own goal was another high-profile mistake from the experienced centre-back, after his wayward pass against West Brom cost his side all three points. Luckily for Toure, goals from Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Countinho and a stoppage time penalty from Steven Gerrard spared his blushes on this occasion.
Liverpool can ill-afford any further mistakes from Toure in the race for Champions League football with a resurgent Tottenham and local rivals Everton both hot on their heels.
The return of Daniel Agger then, will be a welcome boost for Brendan Rodgers who will now arguably have his first choice centre-back partnership available for selection. The Dane had missed the previous five games through a calf injury before replacing Countinho in stoppage time at Craven Cottage.
The 29-year-old has had an intermittent season with the opening three matches of the campaign being his longest run of consecutive games. Overall he has been limited to just 12 league appearances and has a Squawka performance score of 232.
The Liverpool vice-captain had the third highest performance score in the Reds squad last season, with only Gerrard and Luis Suarez outscoring the defender. His performance score of 1146 was third highest score for a centre back in the Premier League with only Jan Vertonghen and Per Mertesacker recording higher scores.
Agger has the highest percentage of average duels won in the Liverpool squad this season – goalkeeper Simon Mignolet aside – with 63%. The centre-half has won an impressive 73% of his headed duels this season and his heading ability has seen him get on the scoresheet when he headed home against Hull City in his last league appearance.
Liverpool have looked fragile at the back this season and have conceded the most goals in the top eight along with Tottenham. The return of Agger alongside the ever present Martin Skrtel could see them tighten up at the back as they look to cement their top four place.