Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool will come into this game confident of getting all three points against a Leicester side that has endured a fairly shoddy January. While the Foxes opened 2019 with a win on Merseyside against Liverpool’s neighbours Everton, that was the last time they avoided defeat – and a fixture list including Newport, Southampton and Wolves gives little reason to suspect they’ll manage to take anything from the Reds.
With the transfer window on the verge of slamming shut, Jurgen Klopp’s inactivity when it comes to squad improvements is a sign that he’s happy with the quality in his current group. Why wouldn’t he be? They sit four points clear of defending champions Manchester City, who they’ve played twice, and this game should, in all reality, be a comfortable procession against a side who may yet part company with manager Claude Puel before too long.
Liverpool vs Leicester City Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Leicester City
This is the first game in eleven days for both sides, each having had a free weekend due to their shock exits in the FA Cup Third Round, and clearly Leicester were more in need of the rest having lost 4-3 last time out at Wolves. The visiting defence is now tasked with holding Liverpool’s attack at bay. The Reds were also involved in a 4-3 game last time out, beating Crystal Palace after a thrilling 90 minutes. Defensive talisman Virgil van Dijk may miss this game, giving the Foxes hope of at least a few openings they can exploit. However, unless their own defensive absentee Harry Maguire returns to the fold and hits top form right away, it will be the away goal that sees most action.
Our recommended tip: BTTS
It hardly bears thinking about where Leicester – currently ninth – would be were it not for their reliable attack. As frustrating as they may be, they are rarely held scoreless; that’s due in no small part to having Jamie Vardy to call upon. That said, Liverpool have a firing squad of Salah, Firmino and Mane, with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri to load the bullets. Considering Leicester were assailed by a hat-trick from the less-than-prolific Diogo Jota less than a fortnight ago, they’d have good reason to be apprehensive about this outing. 888 have a price of Evens (2.00) on both sides scoring – that seems like a worthwhile shout.
This is the return fixture for these sides, having previously met on the 1st of September when a Leicester side that had just beaten Wolves and Southampton consecutively faced an unbeaten Liverpool. The visitors had the game all but won by half time, Mane and Firmino scoring on 10 and 45 minutes. Reds goalkeeper Alisson then attempted a Cruyff turn in his own penalty area on 63, got it badly wrong and gifted the ball to James Maddison who set up Rachid Ghezzal to make it 1-2. However, the remaining 27 minutes rarely saw the visitors seriously stretched, and they retained their 100% record and league lead.
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Players to watch: Andrew Robertson & Harvey Barnes
It is broadly expected that Leicester will sit deep and seek to frustrate Liverpool, which makes Robertson all the more important for the home side. The Scottish left-back is a thrilling player, keen to get forward and capable of delivering decisive passes. Although his move from Hull may have surprised some, Robertson’s consistent excellence in a red shirt has shown that top teams needn’t always pay huge transfer fees to Europe’s elite clubs to find real quality.
Barnes is the closest thing Leicester have to a new signing (unless they sign and register rumoured target Youri Tielemans in a very un-Leicester timely fashion ahead of this game). Recalled from loan at West Brom, he’s looked Premier League-ready from the get-go, and scored superbly at Wolves last time out. A winger who likes to take players on, the academy graduate is at an early enough stage of his career to not have had that cheeky side kicked out of his game, and he’ll relish this chance to shine on a big stage.