Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Prediction: Leicester City vs Liverpool

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 25 Dec 2019

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

If you take a look at the Premier League table right now, it’s quite obvious why this game is potentially the most important one in the title race so far – Leicester City are set to welcome Liverpool to the King Power Stadium on Thursday evening in the yearly Boxing Day cluster of fixtures in England’s top flight. The game will be part of the 19th matchday of the season, though Liverpool have a game in hand as their fixture against West Ham at the weekend was postponed due to their successful Club World Cup adventure in Qatar.

Leicester City

After creating history by actually winning the league in 2015/16, the Foxes are again a very formidable team, and their second place in the table at the moment is certainly no fluke. Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has formed a very good unit, with a clear game-plan which can hurt even the best opposition out there.

They are very strong defensively, with Caglar Soyuncu who replaced Harry Maguire in the team in the summer pairing up with former Manchester United centre-back Jonny Evans, fullbacks Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira covering their flanks very well, and Wilfred Ndidi’s impeccable positioning in front of the back four providing them with constant protection. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, tasked with creating, are often linked with top clubs in England. Upfront, the ruthlessness of Jamie Vardy is still there. His pace and perseverance are perfect weapons agianst high defensive lines that like playing out from the back – such as Liverpool’s. Even Manchester City, who beat Leicester at the Etihad last week by 3-1, felt that impact when Vardy escaped and opened the scoring.

That defeat, however, meant that Leicester are still 10 points behind Liverpool, despite the world champions having their game postponed, and they are now in danger of dropping to third with the defending Premier League champions breathing down their necks.

Team News

Midfielder Matthew James has been out since January. He is now back in training, but not ready to play yet. Winger Harvey Barnes suffered an ankle problem and had to be replaced at the Etihad, and he’ll now be assessed.

Liverpool

The European champions have just come back from the Club World Cup, having added another international trophy to their cabinet. That’s now three in 2019. They are certainly thrilled to be crowned the best in the world at the prestigious FIFA tournament, but they’ve made it clear that their focus remains on ending the 30-year wait for the Premier League title. They are certainly on the right track to do it, with 16 wins and a draw from the 17 league games they’ve played so far and a 10-point advantage over Leicester; with a game in hand at that.

Their performances in the league haven’t exactly been glittering. They’ve earned a reputation of late winners, having to come back from behind and score late to secure points on more than one occasion. But it only goes to show that their mentality is superb, and as is the case with Leicester, their position in the table is well-deserved.

Team News

Manager Jurgen Klopp has been without defenders Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren for a while now, and neither of them will play against Leicester. It means Joe Gomez is set to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of defence. The same goes for midfielder Fabinho, but when it comes to that section, Klopp has plenty of options with the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri all available. There will, however, be no Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who damaged his ankle ligaments in the Club World Cup final.

Conclusion

Points are imperative for both teams, and expect this contest to be an open one. With both sides boasting potent attackers, there should be at least a goal at both ends, but Liverpool are likely to walk away with the prize.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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