Liverpool vs Leicester City – The Boxing Day blockbuster is already in demand due to the current scenario of the Premier League table.
Leicester City are still the surprise leaders of the league, who have scored in every single game in this season so far. On the other hand, Liverpool (currently at ninth) had a nightmare last Sunday as they surrendered to newly promoted Watford miserably. Although, Leicester continued their dream run of form as they defeated Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend.
Liverpool under Klopp had an initial lift to their performance, but the honeymoon period seems to be over and Klopp needs a reality check now with the quality of options he has in his team. They lost back to back away matches against two not so top Premier League sides. Their home form is not convincing either. As a result, they can not be declared favourite over their high flying opponent Leicester City at Anfield on Boxing Day.
Injury Update: Liverpool have a long list of players out injured through out the season. Danny Ings and Joe Gomez both will miss the entire season. James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Jon Flanagan and Jordan Rossiter are not yet ready to return. To add to this misery, Martin Skrtel has injured himself against Watford and is not expected to return before six weeks. Though the fans might feel a little bit relieved as Simon Mignolet and Dejan Lovren are expected to return to the first eleven.
Leicester do not have major injury woes except Danny Drinkwater, who has been a consistent performer in their midfield. He will not be rushed by the manager Claudio Ranieri and will be replaced by Andy King. Jeffrey Schlupp and Matthew James are still out injured, both expected to return within a month time. Jamie Vardy, the highest scorer of the league, had a slight hamstring strain against Everton; though he is expected to start against Liverpool. Robert Huth, the big German center back is also back from suspension.
Liverpool vs Leicester City Probable Lineup:
Liverpool: Klopp’s tactics of playing False 9 with Roberto Firmino upfront went in vain against Watford. That might lead him to shift to 4-2-3-1 with Christian Benteke as number 9.
subs: A. Bogdan, Kolo Toure, Conor Randall, Joe Allen, Roberto Firmino, Jordon Ibe, Divock Origi
Leicester City: Leicester will hopefully name an unchanged squad that snatched another exciting victory last week over Liverpool’s neighbours.
subs: M. Schwarzer, R. De Laet, G. Inler, N. Dyer, A. Kramaric, L. Ulloa, M. Wasilewski.
Key Players: Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Simon Mignolet and Christian Benteke have under performed so far except two or three occasions. Its high time for them to bring some consistency in their performance and start taking responsibility. Otherwise, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho are the two players to be watched for who can change the game for the Reds.
Leicester City are working as a unit. Though Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are getting all praises and applauds, players like N’golo Kante, Christian Fuchs and Marc Albrighton have been the tireless performers through out the season so far.
Current Form (Latest Result First) :
Liverpool last six games: L-D-L-W-W-L
Leicester City last six games: W-W-W-D-W-W
Last Meeting: The match between these two sides ended in a 2-2 draw at Anfield last season on New Years’ Day. Steven Gerrard scored two from the spot in the 1st half for the home side. But Leicester came back strong in the match via a David Nugent strike at 58th minute in the second half and Schlupp equalized within two minutes of Nugent’s goal.
Liverpool vs Leicester City Key Facts:
- Liverpool have never lost a match at home in Premier League on Boxing Day ( W-5, D-3)
- Leicester were unbeaten in their last nine Boxing Day matches before returning to the top flight (W-4, D-5).
- Leicester have won just one of their last 10 fixtures on Boxing Day in the top division (W-1 D-3 L-6).
Betting Odds (Subject to Change):