Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson says no team in the world would be able to deal with the injury problems that Liverpool have suffered this season.
After running away with the Premier League title last year, the current campaign has been marred by injuries and poor form.
Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have all been ruled out with serious injuries, while Fabinho has also been sidelined along with captain Jordan Henderson who has undergone surgery on the groin injury he suffered in the Merseyside derby and will be out until April at the earliest.
It has forced Jurgen Klopp to deploy 18 different centre-back pairings so far this season.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the trip to bottom club Sheffield United on Sunday evening, Robertson said: “If you tell any team in world football that they’re going to have 18 different partnerships in a season at centre-back, no team in the world deals with that, not one.
Sunday 28th February 7:00pm
Kick off 7:15pm
“Usually we have, for instance, Virg who’s very vocal, we have Joey Gomez that leads by example, and Joel who leads by example. We’ve had Fabinho, Hendo.
“But now we’ve got Nat Phillips, who obviously wasn’t here last season, he was out on loan. We’ve got (Ozan) Kabak who’s a young lad who’s just come in. We’ve got Ben Davies, who’s been signed from a Championship club and needs to take time and big Rhys (Williams), of course.
“All of them are relatively inexperienced and it’s trying to help them, but also trying to help the team by focusing on yourself.”
Liverpool are 22 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand going into the match at Bramall Lane and Robertson admits he is now responsible for marshalling Liverpool’s inexperienced backline as they look to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
“It’s been tough for me personally but it’s part and parcel of it,” he added.
“I’m probably the leader at the back, I’m probably the most vocal at the back now and it’s just trying to make sure that we do as well as we can and we try to keep as many clean sheets as we can because that’s the only way we’re going to win games”.
Klopp: No need for massive rebuild
Jurgen Klopp has denied it is time for a rebuild of his Liverpool squad but admits a top-four finish this season will be a big achievement.
Twelve of his current squad are 28 or over, with Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones currently the only players under that age who have played a major part.
“Rebuild? No. What is ‘rebuild’ exactly? Rebuild means 10 out, 10 in? Changes to which XI?” he said.
“I know what you mean but I don’t think it is time for a massive rebuild like how I understand it: six, seven out, running contracts but trying to get rid of them and bring in all the new faces.
“The squad of this year didn’t have the chance to play together one time really. I think it would make sense to have a look at that but on top of that, of course little readjustments will happen”.
How to follow
Sheffield United vs Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm; Kick-off 7.15pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.