Fresh from the 3-0 loss to Watford, Liverpool head into the game with the Premier League leaders low on confidence, albeit motivated to turn things around and prove that a top 4 finish remains a realistic possibility. Meanwhile, Leicester City continued the dream start by beating Everton at Goodison Park and now hope to make it two on the bounce at Merseyside.
Even though at one point it looked as Jurgen Klopp had arrived at Anfield with a magic wand, it soon became clear that both the German coach and the Liverpool players would have to work hard if they were to salvage the current season. The Reds recorded several excellent results on the road, with their counter-attacking style working like a charm in victories over Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton, but the team proved unable to break hard-working opposition at home, which is the main problem at the moment. Quality performances on the road can definitely come in handy, but no top 4 side can meet the expectations without strong showings on home soil and this is something Liverpool are learing the hard way. Heading into the Leicester City game on the back of a four-match winless run, failing to score in three of those games, the Reds will be keen on showing some improvement up front, even though the shaky back line will have their work cut out for them against two of the Premier League’s three top goalscorers.
The good news is that Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet return from knee and hamstring injuries respectively, and they are both expected to start.
However, Martin Skrtel is set for a six-week spell on the sidelines, but Daniel Sturridge and James Milner are not yet ready to return.
Midway through the league campaign and Leicester City are still going strong, although the busy festive schedule and back to back games against Liverpool and Manchester City are set to provide another stern test for Claudio Ranier’s men, who have been on song from the very start of the season. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy may have stolen the headlines, but the entire team have performed admirably during the first part of the season, with the Italian manager quickly proving all the doubters wrong. Leicester City have been a real joy to watch, having scored at least one goal in each of the twenty games on all fronts, and given the form they are in, the excellent run is highly unlikely to come to an end at Anfield. Claudio Ranieri appears to have found a way to ensure that raised expectations do not have a negative effect on team’s performances, as the Foxes continue to play with a great deal of confidence and faith in their abilities, so we have no idea why online bookmakers have made Liverpool the favourites to claim maximum points.
Claudio Ranieri welcomes back important defender Robert Huth from a one-match ban, with the German set to replace Marcin Wasilewski in the starting line-up.
Key midfielder Danny Drinkwater is unlikely to be risked as he battles a hamstring injury, with Jeff Schlupp also unavailable for selection.
Key Factors to Consider
- Both teams have scored in five of Liverpool’s last six home games in EPL
- The Reds have scored in 11 successive home fixtures on all fronts
- Leicester have scored in every single game this season
- The Foxes won last four away matches, scoring exactly three goals in each of those
- Mahrez and Vardy scored eight goals more than the entire Liverpool team
Liverpool have done fairly well at home of late, but having struggled up front in recent games, Jurgen Klopp will make sure to ensure that the attacking department shows improvement against Leicester. Meanwhile, the Foxes seem unstoppable at the moment, and if we cannot guarantee they will win at Anfield, stopping them from scoring should prove mission impossible for the Reds.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/7