It is a complex issue. I do not think that the breakdown of defence vs attack statistics tell the full story.
Our goals conceded is likely to be low and remain low. Our attacking prowess, psychologically, plays a huge part in this. Teams are naturally more wary of attacking us for fear that we catch them out on the break. Instead, they would on go for the “clear cut chances”, i.e. hit us on the counter, 1 shot, 1 goal. It has been a recurring theme since the Rodgers era, (remember Mignolet?) but fixed only recently because we bought Alisson and VVD to plug our leaky defence. This confidence, at our backline to mop up all danger, flows through the whole team. The players dare to take risks, knowing that even if there is a turnover, it would unlikely cost us a goal.
Without VVD and Gomez/Matip, we are back to the point where every counter-attack likely leads to a clear cut chance. Thankfully we still have Alisson, but even he cannot stop everything on his own. This puts more pressure on the attackers to (1) retain possession; and (2) put away their chances. If they do not, we may well be sucker-punched. It is in the hesitancy when we move the ball forward: no more quick one-twos or risky passes; no more spreading out the field or constant movement to confuse the opposition. It is always safe play, waiting for the opposition to make a misjudgement before we go for the kill.
The issue of our attack is exacerbated with the lack of a killer touch of our forwards lately. Salah and Mane used to finish off chances easily. Of late, this killer touch has evaporated either due to fatigue, or simply hesitancy to take risks. Ironically, compared to other elite forwards we had like Torres and Fowler, Salah and Mane are arguably the best (well less Suarez) at taking on opponents one-vs-one, but yet they are hardly doing so to create space for themselves or other team mates. The topic on unfair treatment is for another thread…
I argue that we are also lacking a real leader on the pitch now. One that could lift the whole team up another notch. We had Gerrard and then Suarez, who would single-handedly drag the team over the line. We had Henderson, who though not contributing directly to the attack, would ensure heads will not drop when things are not going our way. But this drive is sorely lacking on the pitch now. Much as we call Salah and Mane world class, they would always be one rung below Gerrard and Suarez because of their inability to lift the team.
How to get out of this rut then? The first thing to do is to restore our team’s confidence in the backline. That may necessitate defending deeper and playing Fabinho in the DM position. As a consequence, our team may also have to abandon the “gen-gen pressing” strategy for the time being.
We should encourage our midfielders to shoot too. We do have Fabinho and Thiago who are good at long shots, so a pop or two from distance might disrupt the opposition.
Third, and this is the longer term strategy, we do need to get a more lethal no. 9. Much as it pains me to say, if Firmino cannot put chances away, then he is of no use to the team. The opposition would just ignore him. What we need is a prime-Torres or even better, a prime-Suarez. Once our no.9 starts to score again, the opposition would mark him more and this would free up both Salah and Mane (may not even be them) to wreck havoc. If we needed to spend big to get the best GK and CB, then let’s do it for the CF position as well.
All in all, if I were Klopp, until VVD and Gomez comes back, I would play a 4-2-3-1, with Fabinho partnering a more progressive midfielder like Thiago, Kieta or Jones. Only one of the FB should bomb forward, with the other being more defensive. The front four to play with more freedom. I would also work on set pieces. Phillips, Kabak, Fabinho and even Mane are not bad headers of the ball, so use it to our advantage.