Liverpool have a chance at Premier League redemption this Saturday – as they travel to the King Power Stadium for the second time in five days. Having suffered a disappointing 2-0 exit in the Carabao cup to the Foxes, Liverpool will be hoping to be fantastic foxes themselves when the ball gets rolling at 5:30.
Last Meeting: Leicester 2-0 Liverpool (19th September 2017)
The aforementioned game was, of course, the last meeting between the two teams – with both sides fielding weakened eleven’s. Goals from Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani proved to be the difference, as Leicester held firm following Liverpool’s dominance – to progress in the competition.
Despite dominating possession and creating a number of chances, Liverpool were unable to find the back of the net for the second time thus far. Philippe Coutinho was a part of the starting eleven for the first time this season – and could be in contention for another start come Saturday; given Sadio Mane’s ban.
Leicester will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating campaign – as they aim for a top half finish this season. Having won the league in fairytale fashion, Leicester are looking to consolidate themselves as a top half team – given the players in their armoury. Playing a modern counter-attacking style, Leicester have a reputation of turning up for the big games.
With key players such as Onyinye Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, Leicester have a terrific squad and one that could surprise people once again. Last time out in the Premier League, the Foxes were held to a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield away from home but will be much more expansive when returning to the King Power Stadium this Saturday.
Klopp could find himself without his starting centre-back partnership for this clash, with Dejan Lovren a certain miss and Joel Matip in doubt to start – leaving Liverpool even more suspect in the defence. On a more positive note, Emre Can was passed fit in time for the match, while Adam Lallana returned to training this week – suggesting his return to the side may be earlier than initially anticipated.
Meanwhile, Jamie Vardy will face a race against the clock to beat a groin injury suffered against Huddersfield. Forced off the pitch with ten minutes to play, the Leicester frontman would be a huge miss for Craig Shakespeare. The club will also await the result of their appeal over the £22m Adrien Silva transfer – after the documentation was blocked by FIFA for being 14 seconds late. Other than that, Leicester will field a similar side to the one that faced Huddersfield.
Predicted Leicester lineup: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chillwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, King, Albrighton, Iheanacho; Vardy.
Predicted Liverpool lineup: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Emre Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah; Firmino.
The Key Battle: Riyad Mahrez vs Alberto Moreno
The Liverpool full-back is expected to return to the side for the first time since the Sevilla match – where the Spaniard was so influential going forward. With the emphasis of his play on attacking, Liverpool could be left vulnerable down the left side, where Leicester’s star man will be targeting.
The Algerian will be starting down the right flank and could exploit the space on the left side of Liverpool’s defence. On his day, Mahrez is unplayable and if given too much space – he could single-handedly tear Liverpool apart. Without Lovren and potentially Matip in the side, Moreno may forget his defensive duties and the “crisis” would continue. Now four games without a win, it’s about time Liverpool put this torrid run to the sword.
Prediction: Leicester 1-2 Liverpool