Liverpool vs Leicester City Preview - Injury-ravaged Reds face top-of-the-table Foxes at Anfield
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Chris Kavanagh
Date & Time – Sunday, November 22nd @ 19:15
Current Odds – Liverpool 10/11, Draw 3/1, Leicester City 13/5
Jürgen Klopp’s Redmen welcome top-of-the-table Leicester City to Anfield this Sunday evening. It’s a very difficult situation for The Reds with between 6 and 8 first-team players out injured. Yet, such is the strength of this Liverpool squad, it’s hard to be too negative in our expectations coming up to any game.
Since losing Virgil van Dijk to a season-ending injury in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool have played six games, winning five and drawing one, in all competitions. The Reds are top of their Champions League group with maximum points after three games while they sit just one point behind Leicester City at the top of the Premier League.
Two weeks ago, Liverpool turned in one of the most complete performances of the Jürgen Klopp era, beating Atalanta 5-0 on their home turf in Italy. Last time out, The Reds earned a credible point with a 1-1 draw at Manchester City before the international break.
Leicester City Form
Leicester City sit top of the table at the moment having won six of their opening eight Premier League games. They are also first in their Europa League group with three wins from three fixtures. The Foxes are on a six-game winning streak in all competitions so will arrive at Anfield confident of upsetting the odds against this makeshift Liverpool team.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool’s squad has been decimated by injuries this season. Make no mistake, Jürgen Klopp is coping with a hugely disproportionate amount of issues due to the club’s hugely congested fixture list as well as FIFA/UEFA’s insistence to continue with international football during a global pandemic.
The injury list at the moment consists of the names Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah (COVID), Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcântara and Fabinho.
It’s hoped that Henderson, Thiago and Fabinho could all be fit and available for selection against Leicester City.
Thankfully, The Reds have a far better squad with more depth than ever so it’s not a complete disaster for Klopp.
I think we’ll see Liverpool revert to a 4-3-3 formation against Leicester with a midfield trio of Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner and Naby Keïta.
With Salah out, Klopp will go for a front three of Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.
The defence is where Klopp faces some huge decisions with Alexander-Arnold, Gomez and Van Dijk all out. If we presume Robertson is passed fit since he started for Scotland on Wednesday night, then the rest of the back four should consist of Joël Matip and Fabinho in the centre and young Neco Williams at right-back.
Leicester City Team News
Leicester are without Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Timothy Castagne and Caglar Söyüncü for Sunday’s game.
Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana will face late fitness tests but are expected to make it for the Anfield clash.
Rodgers has gone with three centre-backs for most of this season. It works as a 3-4-2-1 against weaker sides but it will probably be more of a 5-4-1 shape against Liverpool with the wing-backs, James Justin and Luke Thomas, far more restricted.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Williams N, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keïta; Jota, Firmino, Mané
Leicester City XI (5-4-1) – Schmeichel; Justin, Fofana, Evans, Fuchs, Thomas; Praet, Tielemans, Mendy, Maddison; Vardy
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool did the double over Leicester last season, winning 2-1 at Anfield and turning in one of the performances of the season with a 4-0 win at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
LIVERPOOL 2 – 1 LEICESTER CITY
Liverpool’s squad depth is healthier than it has been for many years. It’s certainly one of the most complete squads the club has had in my lifetime and I’ve been watching them since the late 1980s. Now, Klopp has some jigging about to do with his starting eleven but I still think Liverpool will have a team strong enough to take all three points against Leicester.