Liverpool host Leicester at Anfield in the English Premier League on Thursday. The Reds ended a three-match winless run in the league by winning their last two matches, scoring three goals each time. The Foxes have lost five of their last ten matches in all competitions and are leaky goals at an alarming rate. Pressure is mounting on Brendan Rodgers after his side’s 4-1 FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest in their last match.
After six consecutive league wins, Liverpool dropped points by drawing 2-2 at Tottenham. A shock 1-0 loss at Leicester followed after missing several very good chances. Liverpool then saw a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge turn into a 2-2 draw to make it three matches without a win in the league.
The Reds have looked more like themselves since then in the league, winning 3-0 vs Brentford. They followed that with a 2-0 win at Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final before winning 3-1 at Crystal Palace after several fine saves by Alisson Becker. Liverpool’s last match brought a 3-1 home win against Cardiff in the FA Cup. Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott were the goalscorers.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool could be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez due to COVID-19. Thiago Alcantara is fit again and could start, as is Harvey Elliott after his broken ankle. Naby Keita is back from the AFCON too so the midfield options are plentiful.
The big question is whether Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah will play. The latter is much likely to be in the squad at least but Mane had a victory parade and isn’t likely to return to the UK until the day before this match.
The Reds need all three points, which would close the gap to Man City to six points and keep the title race alive. Motivation should be high having lost to Leicester six weeks ago despite dominating the match.
Leicester are in terrible form and have been for a number of months. They’ve lost seven of their last 17 matches in all competitions. The side have been a mess defensively of late. Their last 14 matches have brought just two clean sheets – one against Liverpool in a fortunate 1-0 victory – whilst their last seven matches have seen 18 goals leaked.
After losing 6-3 at Man City, Leicester bounced back to beat Liverpool 1-0 and Watford 4-1 in the FA Cup. They then conceded twice in the dying minutes to lose 3-2 at home to Tottenham before another late goal allowed saw a 1-1 home draw with Brighton. Their last match saw Brendan Rodgers’ team thrashed 4-1 at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
Leicester Team News
Rodgers is without three defenders who have had recent surgeries in Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand and Timothy Castagne. Wesley Fofana is nearing a return but is still about three weeks from playing. James Justin came back from his serious knee injury in the Nottingham Forest defeat and boosts the side’s fullback options on both sides.
Nampalys Mendy could still be missing as he celebrates AFCON success with Senegal although a bench role is possible too. Jamie Vardy is out so Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho will compete to play as the lone striker. Boubakary Sangare is pushing to start and that could see Wilfred Ndidi drop into centre back to try to shore up a porous defence.
The Foxes beat Liverpool recently by playing very defensively with ten men behind the ball and using their pace to counter attack.
Rodgers would surely take a draw at this former stomping ground and will have his side up for this match. Expect them to practically park the bus but if trailing, they could open up and expose themselves to a heavy defeat.
Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in 20 of their last 24 matches (PL)
5 of the last 6 matches between these sides have seen over 2.5 goals
Liverpool have W10, D4 of their last 14 home matches
Leicester have conceded 18 goals in their last 7 matches
Leicester have conceded in 12 of their last 14 matches
LCFC have lost 7 of their last 17 matches
This match has a Reds win written all over it, with a decent margin of victory also looking a good tip considering Leicester’s defensive woes.