For reasons only explained by sheer masochism, I spent most of yesterday looking up some defensive statistics. In lieu of posting a much-loved data dump, I thought I'd dress it up a bit. I needed an excuse to open Adobe Illustrator anyway. There are some hard numbers in the comments if you're so inclined.
Below are two infographics. The first demonstrates how many different defenses Liverpool have used this season. Through 40 games, we've seen 22 starting backlines. Extended injuries for Carragher and Agger coupled with the usual "reserve" lineup in the Europa League have led to more changes than usual, but it's fairly evident that Hodgson never had a preferred back four. We've seen less "rotation" since Dalglish took the reins, despite the shift to three at the back in two matches (pictured as a five-man defense below). Edit: In the comments sections, there was a suggestion to differentiate between games under Dalglish and Hodgson. Kenny's nine games are now in italic text in this graphic. That Liverpool have been conceding more goals than usual this season goes hand in hand with increased rotation; there's a reason Benitez – so often criticized for rotating players – changed his backline as little as possible. Liverpool's tactics under the last manager may have been a bigger factor in conceding more goals, though.
The second infographic shows who's been on the field when Liverpool's conceded. Through 40 games, Liverpool have conceded 39 goals. Listed are each defenders' total appearances and total goals conceded. As the fine print in the graphic explains, that comes with two caveats. One, I'm not counting appearances where a defender came on a sub in the last ten minutes if Liverpool didn't concede. Two, I'm only counting games where the player was actually a defender – also known as the Fabio Aurelio rule. However, as said above, Kelly and Johnson are included for the two games where Liverpool played "three at the back."
As always with large infographics, click on the image for full-size in a new window. Because of the size of these, that's probably not necessary.
In the comments section is the goals per appearance ratio for each of the nine defenders.