Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 4/6
After missing a chance to beat Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Liverpool will be looking to make things right when they play host to Premier League holders Leicester City. The Foxes have finally recorded the first win of the new campaign and they arrive at Anfield in very good spirits.
Liverpool have shown signs of progress under Jurgen Klopp, but they still do not look like genuine title contenders, and, as things stand now, they could face an uphill struggle to achieve a top 4 finish. Summer recruits Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ragner Klavan are slowly proving their worth, but it looks as though the Reds are still few quality footballers short of matching the England’s top sides. The opening 4-3 triumph over Arsenal at the Emirates was expected to serve as a major lift for Liverpool, but they instead went on to lose to newly-promoted Burnley in their second Premier League fixture, and it was back to the drawing board for Jurgen Klopp. The Reds have since defeated Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup and shared spoils with Tottenham on the road, but with Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea all flawless so far, a win over champions Leicester City is a must if the team are to stay close to the top of the standings. The German coach had quite a few important players away on international duty over the last couple of weeks, and while Sadio Mane suffered an injury on international duty, he should be fit to play.
Mamadou Sakho, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez are expected to miss out through injury, but Sadio Mane should be in contention.
German midfielder Emre Can is unlikely to recover in time, while summer recruit Loris Karius is also unavailable for selection.
Leicester City were always going to have a tough task of repeating what was a memorable last season that saw them defy the odds to lift the Premier League trophy, but manager Claudio Ranieri and club officials did a very good job in the summer transfer window. While they could do nothing to prevent N’Golo Kante from leaving, the Foxes somehow managed to keep hold of Vardy and Mahrez, while also recruiting a number of quality footballers to give themselves the best possible chance of enjoying success on domestic and European stage. Leicester City have had a rocky start to the season, losing their first two fixtures before sharing spoils with Arsenal at King Power Stadium, but the hard-fought victory over Swansea that ensued will have taken a lot of pressure off the players’ backs. The Foxes now need to ensure to continue the trend and if they want to again challenge for Champions League positions, they will have to prove worthy opposition in games like these. The team will clearly need some time to rediscover their form after the emotional end to the previous season, and we are not sure they have what it takes to defeat Liverpool on the road.
The international break came at the right time for Leicester City, considering that Kasper Schmeichel, Nampalys Mendy and Jeffrey Schlupp have all recovered from injury.
This means that Claudio Ranieri should have fully fit squad to choose from for the Liverpool clash, with Ahmed Musa, Andy King and Nampalys Mendy all pushing for starting positions.
Key Factors to Consider
- Both sides won their home fixtures against next opposition without conceding
- Foxes ended a seven-match winless run vs Liverpool in February 2016
- Liverpool won four of last five home games vs Leicester (D1)
- Reds are unbeaten in last eight home fixtures (W4 D4)
- Exactly three goals were scored in three of Leicester’s four matches this term
Neither Liverpool nor Leicester have been too impressive in the opening exchanges and everything suggests we will see a close game at Anfield. But, with the Reds in slightly better form and boasting a very good home record in past meetings with the Foxes, we are backing them to emerge victorious.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 4/6