Liverpool vs Leicester City Prediction, Preview, Lineups and Betting Tips
After a flawless 5-0 win over struggling Swansea on Boxing Day, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool is set for another festive afternoon at “Anfield” but this time Leicester City should be capable to deliver much stronger resistance in the last 2017 match of both clubs. Another positive result will guarantee Liverpool’s top four position at the end of the calendar year, while Leicester City will remain in top half of the Premier League standings no matter what happens in Merseyside this Saturday.
This is the third meeting between both sides for the 2017-18 season and except the first league duel, which Liverpool won 3-2 at the “King Power Stadium”, Leicester City eliminated “The Reds” from the League Cup by winning 2-0, once more at home, only a few days before their first Premier League clash.
The last three Premier League fixtures between these two clubs have had a total of 14 goals scored at an average of 4.7 goals per game. Liverpool have lost three times to Leicester City under Jürgen Klopp – against no side have they lost more often during the manager’s reign.
English Premier League: Liverpool vs Leicester City 30.12.2017
Leicester City bound for Merseyside with a certain ambition to end its poor form based on four games without winning. A streak including three losses (one was after penalties vs Man City) and a prestigious 2-2 draw vs Manchester United, when “The Foxes” avoided another defeat although they had to play with 10 men in closing minutes, when Harry Maguire has scored the late equalizer. However, Claude Puel’s men have suffered two disappointing defeats in that period – 0-3 to Crystal Palace at home and 1-2 in their Boxing Day trip to Watford.
Thus Leicester City remain 8th, on six points behind Burnley (7th) and with the same record as the other Liverpool club – Everton (9th).
Liverpool maintain their unbeaten home form and after Manchester United’s 2-2 draw vs Burnley, “The Reds” from Merseyside boast the best defensive home record – conceding just 3 goals in 10 games. Surprisingly or not, Liverpool have the best defense when playing at home and the recently announced record-breaking deal of Virgil van Dijk’s purchase spreads even greater optimism amongt the scousers.
Jürgen Klopp’s men are currently fourth, being with one point above both North London rivals – Tottenham and Arsenal. The German boss stated his ambition to claim one of the top-four spots and considering Man City’s astonishing record, it’s pretty clear that the most fascinating competition in second half of the campaign will be linked with the Champions League positions, as well as with the European commitment of all English clubs. Liverpool is one of them and they must try to gain as much as possible before the Champions League renewal and their Round of 16 tie with Porto in mid-February – early-March.
Team News and Missing Players
Jürgen Klopp did enough to rest some players after reaching a convincing lead against Swansea and this opens space for some rotations in the very busy holiday English Premier League schedule. Liverpool will be heading to Burnley only two days after their encounter with Leicester, so Klopp may try to win the match with an alternative lineup but without any underestimation, especially after the dropped points vs WBA, Everton and Arsenal before Christmas.
Sadio Mane remained on the bench against Swansea so the Senegalese is set to start on Saturday afternoon, while the Brazilian core of the “fantastic four” may get some rest. Adam Lallana and Dominic Solanke are expected to feature from the outset, as they’ll have to carry the heavy burden of replacing Coutinho and Firmino, respectively.
Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, James Milner are the other potential starters for Liverpool whilst Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both likely to keep their starting position from the Boxing Day round.
Adam Bogdan, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Marko Grujic and skipper Jordan Henderson all miss out through injuries, while Daniel Sturridge is once again questionable.
Claude Puel is surely delighted that 2018 is almost here and from the next round he can use the summer signing Adrien Silva. The Portuguese Euro 2016 winner will finally be eligible to play against Huddersfield Town on Monday afternoon, but the Frenchman must pick an adequate approach for the upcoming heavyweight visit at “Anfield”.
Robert Huth and Danny Simpson are both injured so Puel is expected to start with Aleksandar Dragovic on the right-back again, while Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire form the centre-back duo anyway, so Huth’s absence is not a particular blow.
Ghanaian midfielder Daniel Amartey is available following suspension, though is unlikely to start here. Vicente Iborra, who missed the match with Watford, is ready to fill the central midfield alongside Wilfred Ndidi and Christian Fuchs should return at the left-back where Ben Chilwell started against Watford. Chilwell can be used either as a back or winger, but we believe that Marc Albrighton will keep his position on the left wing, where Demarai Gray can be an option as well.
Liverpool vs Leicester City Prediction and Betting Tips
Liverpool are not only the well-performing side here but they also hold a very strong home record against Leicester for the past 18 years. “Reds” from Merseyside have six victories and just one draw when “Foxes” try to outwit them at “Anfield” and the only exception was on 1 January 2015, when Liverpool took a 2-0 lead thanks to the two successfully executed penalties by Steven Gerrard but Leicester have eventually stolen a point after two second-half goals.
This time both sides will close, not open, the year with a direct matchup and although Liverpool are considered to be certain favourites to win, our attention has been caught by the goal scoring markets. In fact Jürgen Klopp’s men often fail to show consistency and despite their decent home record, we think Leicester City can break Liverpool’s shaky defensive line on counter-attacks. Players like Gray, Albrighton, Okazaki, Mahrez, Vardy are all perfect for that approach and we fancy the betting odds on “Both teams to score“.
Our betting prediction suggests: “Both teams to score – Yes”.
Possible Lineups of Liverpool and Leicester City
Venue: “Anfield”, Liverpool.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet – Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson – Adam Lallana, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke, Sadio Mane. (4-3-3)
Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel – Aleksandar Dragovic, Wes Morgan, Harry Maguire, Christian Fuchs – Riyad Mahrez, Wilfred Ndidi, Vicente Iborra, Marc Albrighton – Shinji Okazaki – Jamie Vardy. (4-4-1-1)