Liverpool will look to make it four wins in four games, when they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City on Saturday.
Table-toppers Liverpool will face off against Leicester City in matchweek four of the 2018-19 Premier League, with an eye on maintaining their perfect start to the campaign.
Tipped as one of the top contenders for the title, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are off the blocks quickly in the new season, claiming three wins in three games, that has catapulted them to the top of the standings. They edged out Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in their last outing at Anfield, and will be gunning to build on their solid beginning.
Leicester, after their opening day defeat to Manchester United, have managed to register three wins on the trot, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton in the Premier League, before the 4-0 drubbing of Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup. The Foxes sit seventh in the table currently and will want to extend their streak against Liverpool this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
The biggest miss for manager Claude Puel heading into Saturday’s encounter is star striker Jamie Vardy. The Englishman is ruled out of the tie owing to suspension, after his sending off in their 2-0 win over Wolves a fortnight ago.
Summer arrival Caglar Soyuncu is a doubt, as he looks to build match fitness while Matty James is out with an Achilles injury. The Foxes are unlikely to change the 4-2-3-1 setup that they have stuck to under Puel, with the Frenchman likely to set his team up to play on the counter.
Danish international Kasper Schmeichel is a certainty to start for the home team between the sticks this weekend. Daniel Amartey is expected to continue at right-back, with the impressive Ben Chilwell out on the opposite side of the back four. The duo will have their task cut out against Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
Captain Wes Morgan should partner Harry Maguire in the heart of the defence, meaning new signing Jonny Evans misses out, despite having started in the midweek cup game.
The two-man midfield axis of Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi will be extremely key for Leicester’s chances on Saturday. The duo will have to safeguard their backline from Liverpool’s midfield runners, while also offering cover for the full-backs, when they push up. James Maddison will slot in the No.10 role for the Foxes and look to pull the strings in the final third.
Full-back Ricardo Pereira is likely to start in an advanced position on the right-flank, as he has done a few times this term, in order to offer protection from Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson’s forays. Marc Albrighton’s industry and work rate could see him get the nod ahead of Demarai Gray on the opposite wing. Kelechi Iheanacho will lead the line in Vardy’s absence.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Amartey, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Pereira, Maddison, Albrighton; Iheanacho;
There are no fresh injury concerns for Klopp and Liverpool to contend with, heading into Saturday’s encounter. Centre-back Dejan Lovren remains sidelined with a pelvis problem, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the only long-term absentee.
Alisson Becker is yet to concede a goal in his first three Premier League games and will look to keep another clean sheet this weekend. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will continue in the centre of the back four, despite Joel Matip’s return to fitness.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was subbed off last weekend with the manager claiming post-match that the youngster was fading physically. He could be replaced against the Foxes by Nathaniel Clyne, who is yet to start a game this term. Andrew Robertson will start once again at left-back, ahead of Alberto Moreno.
James Milner has been one of the Merseysiders’ better players so far in the new season along with new signing Naby Keita. They should continue in the middle of the park on Saturday, providing the team with forward impetus. Gini Wijnaldum has been impressive in the No.6 role and should be retained as well, meaning Jordan Henderson and Fabinho will miss out again.
The fearsome attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, who scored the only goal last week, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is unlikely to be tinkered with by the manager on Saturday.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Clyne, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane;
- Liverpool have won eight of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Leicester City (D2 L2), though they have lost this fixture in two of the last three seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17).
- The Foxes have won three of their last four home meetings with Liverpool in all competitions, though they did lose this exact fixture 3-2 last season.
- Liverpool are looking to win their opening four games of a Premier League season for the first time. They last opened a top-flight campaign with four wins back in 1990-91 under Kenny Dalglish.
- Since Leicester returned to the Premier League in 2014-15, Jamie Vardy has scored 43% of Leicester’s league goals against ‘big six’ opposition (27 of 63 goals) – however, he is suspended and will miss this match.
- Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson could become the fourth goalkeeper in Premier League history to keep a clean sheet in his first four starts, after Alex Manninger (first six), Anders Lindegaard (first five) and Jose Reina (first four).
- Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.61
- Over 9.5 Corners @ 1.83
- Naby Keita Over 60.5 Passes @ 1.83
- A Penalty in the Match – YES @ 3.75
Player to watch
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Both Mane and Salah have opened their goalscoring accounts for the new season. But Firmino, despite starting all three matches so far, hasn’t found the back of the net yet. It is not to say that the Brazilian is playing bad by any means – he does have two assists to show for, but he still seems to be lacking a bit of sharpness.
The 26-year old put on an improved display against Brighton, coming close to scoring and setting Salah up for the goal. And he will be hoping to build on that and get off the mark for the new season against Leicester.
Leicester City 0-2 Liverpool
Leicester are coming on the back of a good run of games, but they will be without Vardy, who has scored seven times in his last five games against Liverpool out of the nine goals his team has scored. His absence, coupled with the form that the visitors’ defence is in, should make things difficult for the home team.
And given the quality that the Reds possess in the attacking half of the field, they should see this out comfortably, continuing their perfect start to the new season at the King Power Stadium.