Tonight’s Barclays Premier League meeting between Leicester City and Liverpool is bound to have an air of uncertainty surrounding it as the reigning champions occupy the relegation zone with only 13 matches remaining.
Managerless and seemingly rudderless Leicester will be under the temporary guidance of caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare after Claudio Ranieri’s unceremonious sacking last week. Liverpool’s buildup to this fixture has been much more serene - they beat Tottenham 2 weeks ago and have had that period to recover and prepare.
Massive incentives exist for both sides. A win would take Liverpool into the top 4 at the expense of Arsenal, while 3 points for The Foxes would lift them out of the relegation zone and provide some much-needed breathing space.
Doubtful: Ulloa, Slimani
Likely starting XI (442): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Gray; Vardy, Okazaki
Ruled out: Henderson, Ings, Grujic, Ejaria
Doubtful: Sturridge, Lovren, Klavan
Likely starting XI (433): Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner; Can, Lallana, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Coutinho
Jamie Vardy scored a scorcher in the corresponding fixture last season when The Foxes were flying high and beating every side put in front of them. The goals have rather dried up for the Englishman recently, however, as last season’s Golden Boot winner hadn’t found the net in 9 games before scoring against Sevilla last week. A return to form for Vardy might be one of Leicester’s hopes of remaining in the division. In the centre of the park, Danny Drinkwater needs to regain his authority in an area where N’Golo Kanté is so sorely missed ; especially seeing as though Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson will miss the match due to severe bruising on his foot.
Sadio Mané has been directly involved in 15 Premier League goals (11 goals and 4 assists) this season which means that he remains their most productive player. The Senegalese striker scored a double against Spurs in Liverpool’s last match and he’ll fancy his chances of bagging a few more against a leaky Leicester. At the back, Joël Matip is a hugely important player for Liverpool with the injuries to Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren. The Cameroonian is the only specialist centre back available and will likely play alongside natural midfielder Lucas Leiva.
Key Match Stats
Leicester have failed to score in their last 6 Premier League matches.
Leicester have lost their last 5 matches in the Premier League.
Leicester haven’t kept any clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions, and only 1 in their last 22.
Leicester have conceded at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches in the Premier League.
Leicester have only beaten Liverpool in 1 of their last 9 Premier League meetings (the corresponding fixture last season).
Jamie Vardy has scored in only 1 of his last 18 Premier League games.
Liverpool have gone 3 matches without an away win in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s Premier League win over Tottenham ended a winless streak of 5 games.
Verdict & Picks
A home win is offered at 5 by ClickaBet which is unexpectedly quite long, whereas Liverpool are surprisingly short at 1.68 to record a win, considering their poor recent away record.