Just over a year ago, Jamie Vardy scored an audacious volley against Liverpool at the King Power arena that sent the Leicester faithful into raptures. The fairytale continued for Vardy and Leicester up till the end of the season. Things have drastically changed this season and the mood will be gloomy at the King Power stadium as the Foxes welcome the Merseysiders on Monday evening. Craig Shakespeare, the caretaker manager, will have a huge task in his hand.
No time to mourn as relegation dog fight awaits
The Foxes will not have any time to mourn the sacking of Ranieri as they are caught up in the relegation zone. Leicester City can steer clear of the relegation zone if they can win the game against Liverpool.
Shakespeare will step in as the caretaker manager and will have to immediately find a winning combination as they simply cannot afford to drop any more points. The players faced severe fan backlash after reports emerged that the players were behind the board’s decision to axe their boss. They will have to put in a commanding performance to win back the fans.
The Foxes have failed to score in their last six premier league games with their last league victory coming in December. Vardy’s mid-week goal in Champions league would have helped his confidence. The bigger problems are at the heart of the defence, with both Huth and Morgan looking terribly out of form. Coming on the back of four consecutive losses, the pressure will be on the defending champions to make something out of this game.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 27, 2017
Leicester City Team News:
The most of their thin squad are available for selection except Slimani, the only player expected to miss out due to injury. If reports were to be believed, the sacking of Ranieri could have exonerated some players and could lead to a positive reaction. Shakespeare will be keen to make some important changes to bring about the defensive solidarity that won them the title last season.
1?? day to go until we play Liverpool at King Power Stadium!
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 26, 2017
Liverpool: Fresh, Fit and should be Firing
The Merseysiders have had an extended break after exiting from cup competitions very early on in the season. That might have been a blessing in disguise as Klopp's heavy metal football was leaving many players gasping for breath.
The Reds must ensure that they are not rusty as being out of action for 16 days can kick complacency in the squad. Their belligerent victory over Tottenham must have silenced their critics and the former Dortmund coach will want more of the same from his boys on Monday. Klopp’s men have to be at their best as they will be facing a wounded Foxes side. Their victory against Tottenham ended a disappointing run of five league games without a victory and they will want to sustain momentum in the race for the top four.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 27, 2017
Liverpool Team News:
Lovren and Sturridge are set to miss out due to injuries. Klopp will be eager to have the same eleven on the field that impressed against Tottenham. Wijnaldum has shaken off a calf problem and will be expected to line up against the defending Champions.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 27, 2017
Leicester City FC (4-4-2): Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Mahrez, Musa, Vardy.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet, Milner, Lucas, Matip, Clyne, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Coutinho.
Players to watch out for:
The Algerian superstar will be wondering where it all went wrong for him. The reigning player of the year posted a tribute to his ex-Manager Raineri but the social media trolls did not spare him. Nobody is to know if he was behind the sacking but he will be desperate to prove that he is as good a player as he was last season. He is a player made from the toughest of circumstances and one can expect the Algerian to set the record straight against Liverpool.
Liverpool’s title challenge derailed during Mane’s AFCON adventure. While the adventure didn’t really work out well for either party, his return has certainly revitalised the reds. He will be once again the key man in the visitor’s attack and much will depend on him if Liverpool are to take three points from the King Power stadium.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 27, 2017
Match Prediction: Leicester City 0 – 3 Liverpool
While most teams react positively to change in personnel, but it won’t be easy for the Foxes. King Power Stadium is expected to turn hostile towards some of their own players and a rejuvenated Liverpool side are not ideal opponents for the situation. The reverse fixture saw the reds triumph 4-1 at Anfield and a similar result could await the defending champions.