Football

Premier League: Leicester City vs Liverpool – Team News and Lineups

Liverpool visits the King Power stadium as they face Leicester City in the last game of gameweek 26. Their last meeting was Liverpool’s first home game at Anfield this season where Klopp's men won 4-1. Leicester won this exact fixture last season thanks to a brace from Jamie Vardy. They’ve not won back-to-back home league games against Liverpool since August 1972 but Liverpool, on the other hand, haven’t beaten Leicester home and away in the same season since 2001-02.

Redemption for Leicester City?

Leicester have been in a very bad run of form. It’s as simple as that. The Foxes have lost their last five league games – the only other reigning top-flight champion to lose six on the bounce are Everton in 1928/29 (final six games of the season). They still have a glimmer of hope after scoring an away goal in the 2-1 defeat against Sevilla in Champions League but their hopes of staying in the Premier League are fading by the day until they start winning.

 

 

The Foxes’ last three Premier League goals against Liverpool have all been scored by Jamie Vardy. He’s the only Leicester player to score against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.

However, Vardy has scored in just one of his last 18 Premier League games (a hat-trick v. Manchester City in December). Mahrez too hasn’t been in the majestic form as he was last season managing only 4 assists across all competitions.

Leicester City Team News

Strikers Islam Slimani and Leonardo Ulloa are both fighting to be fit for the game with groin and thigh injuries respectively. Molla Wague is expected to miss out with a dislocated shoulder. After Ranieri’s sacking their caretaker manager, Craig Shakespeare has urged his team to show survival spirit. "In terms of getting teams prepared, I'd like to think my man-management style can do that. There are enough games there and this squad are good enough to get themselves out of this – that will be the message. It would be nice to get that again. It was a great time then, in terms of we were written off," he said. "We are not written off now. There are enough games for this squad to win football matches and that is what we aim to do."

 

 

Liverpool looking to build on momentum after an important Spurs win

Liverpool secured their first win in 2017 with a dominating 2-0 win at Anfield against Spurs last time out. They were not exactly underperforming but were not getting the results in their favour either resulting them to bow of both domestic cup competitions last month. They did manage to secure important draws against Chelsea and Manchester United in their winless run of form before the Tottenham win. Sadio Mane has been the best and most important player for Liverpool this season who is also their top scorer with 11 goals. Georginio Wijnaldum has had a hand in three of Liverpool’s last four Premier League goals, scoring one and assisting two making him more likely to be favoured by Jurgen Klopp ahead of Emre Can in midfield.

 

 

Liverpool Team News

Jürgen Klopp is most likely to name the same team which secured the win at Anfield against Spurs in their previous game. Liverpool central defender Dejan Lovren is still a doubt for the trip because he is struggling with a knee injury and striker Daniel Sturridge is suffering from a virus. Jürgen Klopp revealed in his pre-match press conference that Wijnaldum had picked up a calf injury midweek in training but Liverpool boss reckons it won't keep him out of action. Meanwhile, Klopp expressed his surprise in Ranieri’s sacking saying " It's not only football. For me, there have been a few strange decisions in 16-17… Brexit, Trump and Ranieri."

Predicted Lineups

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana; Mané, Firmino, Coutinho

Leicester City XI (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy

 

Player to watch out for

Sadio Mané

 

 

Sadio Mané has been the standout player for Liverpool this season with his breathtaking pace and directness. He has been involved in 15 goals this season (11 goals and 4 assists). Liverpool missed him dearly in January when he was away at AFCON. He adds another dimension to the Liverpool attack with his fiery pace and flair on the ball. He was the man of the match in Liverpool’s last league game against Spurs scoring the two goals in the match. Given his threat in the final third of the pitch, he is most likely to be on the scoresheet against an underperforming Leicester City.

 

Match Prediction

Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool

Leicester are pretty much low on confidence after 7 losses in their last 9 games across all competitions. In the Premier League, things look a lot worse with 5 defeats and 1 draw in their last 6 outings which have left them just a point above the relegation zone. On the other hand, Liverpool should be more confident with an impressive 2-0 win against Spurs last time out, after their dismal run of form in 2017. Leicester’s home form is marginally better than their overall form, but they have only won two of their last seven in the league and have lost four times. This includes back to back 3-0 defeats at home to Chelsea and Manchester United, so there is the potential for a comprehensive victory here. Leicester’s awful defence has resulted in a fair few high scoring matches this season, with six of their last eight at home seeing at least three goals in them. And given that of Liverpool’s attacking prowess, a 3-1 scoreline in favour of Liverpool seems a fair prediction.

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