LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER CITY: PREVIEW
Liverpool return to Premier League action on Thursday night as they host Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. It’s been almost a month since the last league game at Anfield (a 3-0 over Brentford) and Klopp’s side will be hoping for a similar result. Here’s a preview of the game.
Liverpool are second in the league table, nine points behind Manchester City (having played a game less) whilst Leicester lie slap bang in midtable, 10th and 12 points off the top four places. They in fact lie closer to the relegation places (10 points).
It’s been a horrid season for the Foxes so far, with their campaign summed up by the 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Sunday. It was a truly pathetic defence of the FA Cup trophy they lifted last year.
Brendan Rodgers’ side has leaked goals all season, with 37 coming in the Premier League – only five teams in the division have conceded more. Bottom of the table Burnley have conceded nine less goals than Leicester with The Foxes particularly suspect at defending set pieces.
Injuries haven’t helped, with the likes of Wesley Fofana, Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Daniel Amartey and Jannik Vestergaard all suffering with varying degrees of injuries over the course of the season. That pinpoints exactly where the problem lies.
Going forward, the Foxes haven’t missed a beat. Their tally of 34 goals scored is again only bettered by five teams in the entire division. They have a wonderful array of attacking talents and can pose a very real threat on their day.
In the game between these two sides last December, Amartey partnered Ndidi in a makeshift backline. Leicester rallied together that night, with their crowd urging them over the line for a spirited 1-0 victory.
It has been a long hangover season after their brilliant FA Cup triumph last year, with ex Reds boss Brendan Rodgers coming under pressure for the run of poor results. Leicester have won just one of their four games this year, beating relegation threatened Watford 4-1.
They suffered an unimaginable collapse at home to Spurs when they managed to clinch defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 3-2 after leading 2-1 in the 94th minute. They followed that up with another late collapse as Welbeck’s 82nd minute equaliser saw them draw at home to Brighton.
The two week winter break was supposed to have come at the right time, but the Foxes returned and put in an even worse performance against Championship side Nottingham. The confidence in the ranks is low at the minute, and a trip to Anfield is the last thing they need right now.
This will all be music to the ears of the Anfield faithful. Liverpool are unbeaten since that defeat at the King Power, winning their last four matches in all competitions. Jürgen Klopp’s side have manouvred their way around a tricky January spell without the pair of Salah and Mané.
They come into this fixture after beating Cardiff City 3-1 to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup. The Reds remain in a with a shout in all four competitions this season and will be hoping to keep pace with Manchester City.
The champions host Brentford at the Etihad tomorrow night in a game they should win. This could see the gap grow to 12 points before Thursday even rolls around. It is yet another must win game if the Merseysiders are to stay in the title race.
Liverpool are the topscorers in the league with 58 goals in just 22 matches, with their defensive record of 19 goals conceded only bettered by Chelsea (18), Wolves (16) and City (14). It’s been an impressive season so far, with only the relentlessness of Guardiola’s side skewing the narrative somewhat.
Leicester City have won just two of their last ten meetings against Liverpool in all competitions, with their last trip to Anfield being a crazy 3-3 draw in the League Cup last December. In the corresponding fixture last season, the Reds romped to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
The visitors will be looking for a response after their embarrassing exit from the FA Cup but should the Reds get an early lead, you can’t help but feel heads will drop in their ranks. The mood on the red half of Merseyside is one of optimism right now and the home fans will definitely raise the roof off in support of their team.
For Liverpool, it’s almost a full available squad with only Sadio Mané out as he celebrates his AFCON win back home in Senegal. He has been ruled out as he is only expected to return to the UK on Thursday. Salah meanwhile has returned to training and put himself in contention.
New signing Luis Diaz is also in line for his Premier League debut. For Brendan Rodgers’ side, Timothy Castagne (thigh), Wesley Fofana (ankle), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Jonny Evans (hamstring) and tormentor-in-chief Jamie Vardy (ankle) are all ruled out.
The Egyptian trained with his teammates today despite playing his fourth 120 minute match on Sunday in the AFCON final. It’s testament to his willpower that he has made himself available. He will no doubt be in angry mood and an angry Salah is a dangerous Salah.
The 25 year old has been in scintillating form recently, directly contributing to 13 goals (7 goals, 6 assists) in his last 12 appearances in all competitions. He was probably Leicester’s best player on Sunday and will look to combine with Daka in Vardy’s absence.
The Scouser provided his 15th assist of the season on Sunday and will be licking his lips at Leicester’s frailties at set pieces. With Mo Salah back, he’ll also look to resume the right sided partnership that has wreaked havoc all season.
4 thoughts on “LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER CITY: PREVIEW”
I’m so excited to see football come back to Anfield after a while with Diaz and Elliot 😀 fit, Thiago and Salah also in the line-up plus Trent and Robbo delivery truck on ground, then checking out the rest of the squad, you just get this chills, it’s going to be fun.
I expect Klopp to give Luiz Diaz his
full premier league debut against Leicester city, Elliot might have to wait.
We shouldn’t be wary of Leicester city tho, they can be dangerous on a their good days, but klopp knows not to gamble at this stage of the competition.
Good luck to the Team!
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We owe Leicester one after that defeat at their place
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