Liverpool will be looking to pull further away from Manchester City in the Premier League title race when they take on Leicester City at home this week
Liverpool will be aiming to strengthen their grip at the top of the Premier League standings with a victory when they clash against Claude Puel’s Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Liverpool are coming off a 11-day break, during which they embarked on a warm weather training trip to Dubai. Prior to that, the Merseysiders had battled hard against Crystal Palace to eke out a 4-3 win and protect their four-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were handed a huge boost in the title race when second-placed Manchester City succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to relegation battlers Newcastle United on Tuesday night. The Reds now have a great chance to widen the gap at the top to seven points and establish a greater stranglehold on the Premier League table, with 15 games left.
Leicester City, on the other hand, have lost four of their last five matches across all competitions, with their latest fixture ending in a thrilling 4-3 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers ten days ago. The Foxes currently occupy tenth place on the league table, with 31 points from 23 matches.
While Claude Puel’s side may not be in the best of form, they have shown previously that they are perfectly capable of hurting the top sides on their day, having already beaten Chelsea and Manchester City in the past six weeks. And they will come to the Anfield aiming for all three points on Wednesday night.
Team News & Tactics
Jurgen Klopp has a few selection headaches to contend with heading into Wednesday’s encounter. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are both unavailable with injuries, while makeshift right-back James Milner is suspended after his sending off against Crystal Palace.
However, Liverpool have been boosted by the return to full fitness of Dejan Lovren and Georginio Wijnaldum while defensive mainstay Virgil van Dijk has recovered from an illness to take part in training as well. Klopp teased the possibility of playing with wing-backs on Wednesday, but that is unlikely to be the case, with a flat back four likely to be retained in front of Alisson.
Fabinho, fit again after recovering from a slight hamstring problem, should deputize at right-back, while Andy Robertson is set to hold on to his spot on the left. Van Dijk is likely to be paired up with Joel Matip at the heart of the defence, with Lovren only recently returning to training.
Club captain Jordan Henderson will take up one of the two pivot positions in the middle of the park for the Reds and is likely to be partnered by the returning Wijnaldum. Roberto Firmino is set to start in the No.1 0 role once again for the Reds, flanked by the dangerous duo of Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane, meaning Naby Keita misses out.
Spearheading the attack for Liverpool will be star attacker Mohamed Salah, who has an impressive record against Leicester City.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Fabinho, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah
The Foxes will be able to call upon English centre-back Harry Maguire, after he was forced off injured in the defeat to Wolves last time out. Daniel Amartey is the only notable absentee for Leicester heading into the game at Anfield.
First-choice goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will feature from the get-go against the Reds and will be protected by a back four comprising of Danny Simpson and Ben Chilwell as the full-backs, with Maguire starting alongside captain Wes Morgan at the centre of the backline.
Wilfred Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy will slot in the middle of the park for Puel’s side and look to disrupt Liverpool’s rhythm, while summer signing James Maddison will provide the creative threat playing in the No. 10 role.
Ricardo Pereira is expected to get the nod on the right flank, while the industrious Marc Albrighton should feature out on the left, ahead of Demarai Gray. Leading the line for the visitors at Anfield will be star striker Jamie Vardy, who has scored seven times against Liverpool since Klopp’s arrival at the club in October 2015.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Pereira, Maddison, Albrighton; Vardy
1. Leicester Asian Handicap + 2.0 @ 1.675
2. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 2.10
1. Full Time Result – Draw or Leicester @ 4.33
- Liverpool have won their last three league games against Leicester City – they last won four in a row against the Foxes between February 1987 and September 1996.
- Leicester City have lost six of their last seven away Premier League games against Liverpool (D1), with their last win at Anfield coming in May 2000 (2-0).
- Liverpool haven’t lost any of their last 19 home midweek games in the Premier League (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), winning 13 and drawing six since a 0-1 loss vs Fulham in May 2012.
- Leicester City have lost each of their last 11 Premier League games against sides starting the day top of the table, conceding at least twice every time (27 in total) and netting just five in return. Their last such win came on January 31st 1998 at Manchester United.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 32 home Premier League games (W23 D9), the longest such run in the division since Manchester City went 37 without defeat between December 2010 and December 2012.
Player to Watch
The Egyptian superstar is perched on top of the goalscoring charts in the Premier League, having netted 16 times from 23 matches, following his game-changing brace against Crystal Palace last time out, while he also has eight assists to go along with.
The 26-year-old has three more goals to his name in the UEFA Champions League and should he score against Leicester on Wednesday, he will become the first Liverpool player since Luis Suarez, in 2013-14, to score 20 goals across all competitions in successive seasons for the club.
Salah is staring at another personal milestone heading into the game against Leicester. Currently on 48 Premier League goals for Liverpool in 59 matches, the Egyptian can become the fastest player to breach the 50-goal barrier for the club, beating Fernando Torres, who did it in 72 league outings.
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City
Liverpool come into Wednesday’s game well-rested and refreshed, following their warm weather training camp in Dubai. The Reds will definitely be buoyed by the outcome of Manchester City’s game on Tuesday and will be driven to make sure that they put further distance between themselves and the reigning champions at the top.
Leicester City too weren’t involved in the FA Cup this past weekend, which will have allowed them a good recovery period. But, heading into the encounter, their form has been quite poor, with defeats to the likes of Wolves, Southampton, Newport County (FA Cup) and Cardiff City in their last five fixtures.
However, they can take confidence from the fact that they have beaten both Chelsea and Manchester City since December and will be a threat to Liverpool. But, given how the Reds bounced back against Crystal Palace last time out, it is hard to see the game ending in anything but a home win on Wednesday.