Liverpool host Leicester City at Anfield on Sunday night in the Premier League. Before the weekend, Leicester are top of the log after six wins in their first eight matches. Jurgen Klopp’s men are third despite having an injury nightmare with several players’ involvement in doubt for this match.
Liverpool have kept picking up wins and good results even after the long-term injury to Virgil Van Dijk and problems for Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara. Jurgen Klopp’s team have managed five wins and a good 1-1 draw against Man City in the six games since losing Van Dijk. In that run, they won away at Ajax Amsterdam (1-0) and Atalanta (5-0) and beat Sheffield United and West Ham at home (both 2-1) in the Premier League.
Liverpool Team News
Joe Gomez picked up a serious knee injury on England duty and will miss the next few months of football. Van Dijk is also set to be out until at least March, and Trent Alexander-Arnold went off against Man City with a problem. Neco Williams could deputise at right back. On international duty, Jordan Henderson, Rhys Williams and Andy Robertson all pulled out of fixtures with knocks but it’s hoped all three with be fit to start here.
Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara are also closing in on a return. In attack, Mohamed Salah is missing after two positive Covid-19 tests after attending his brother’s wedding and he could miss the next few games. Diego Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri are good options to replace him.
Liverpool will be very motivated to win this game and with their strong position in their Champions League group, all attention can be put on this one. With the absences in defence, Klopp may set up slightly more defensively than usual and set up his defensive line to sit deeper in the absence of Gomez’s speed against the pace of Jamie Vardy.
Brendan Rodgers’ men have made a great start to the season and sit at the summit of the Premier League after six wins and two losses in their first eight matches.
After a 5-2 thrashing of Man City, Leicester lost two home games in a row to West Ham and Aston Villa. However, they responded strongly with three subsequent wins in tough matches: 1-0 away to Arsenal, 4-1 away to Leeds and 1-0 at home to Wolves.
Leicester Team News
Leicester’s amazing start to the season has come in the context of numerous defensive injuries. For this game, Wilfred Ndidi is missing in midfield (or centre back), Caglar Soyuncu is expected to be out and there are serious doubts over Timothy Castagne and Daniel Amartey. The one good piece of news is that Ricardo Pereira could be ready to play at right wingback after recovering from knee surgery.
This season, Rodgers has been much more pragmatic than usual. After his side’s 3-0 thrashing at Tottenham at the back end of last season, he clearly realised his side were being exposed by counter-attacks. His solution has been to largely use a back five when defending this term and to focus on transitions to attack using the speed of Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes.
In this game, Leicester are likely to sit deep and allow Liverpool a lot of the ball before springing Vardy away in the channels. They will look to win the match but could be quite satisfied with a draw too.
Liverpool are seven games unbeaten (five wins) (all competitions)
Diego Jota has scored 6 goals in his last 5 matches (all competitions)
Liverpool have conceded first and won in their last three home PL matches. No side have ever done this in four consecutive PL home matches.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 63 PL home matches
Leicester have won four consecutive away PL matches, scoring 13 goals
The Foxes have scored in 8 of their last 9 away PL matches
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals in 11 PL appearances against Liverpool
This is a difficult game to call. With the defensive issues for both sides, we may see a cagey match with neither side opening up. I think this may be a draw or possibly Liverpool to win by one goal.