Will Out of Form Liverpool Tame the Foxes?
Last updated: February 10, 2021 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||King Power Stadium|
|Last Meeting:||Liverpool 3 – 0 Leicester|
Just three points separate the 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City and the reigning champions Liverpool. A win for the Foxes would see them go into second; the Reds can overtake their hosts with three points from this game.
It’s pretty easy to dismiss Leicester’s league chances. Often seen as a small fish in a large pond, they have never been accredited the respect as being considered true title contenders this season.
Yet going into this game, they are the form team of the two sides and could leapfrog Manchester United to take second with a win. Leicester has consistently been around the top-four this season and would have claimed a Champions League spot last season, had they not spectacularly collapsed when football resumed after the first lock-down.
The big question is whether they have the credentials to avoid another run of bad form at the end of the season, or for optimistic Foxes fans, repeat their heroics of five years ago. Brendan Rogers has come close before; his Liverpool side was just one win away from claiming the 2013-14 title.
One reason to believe that Leicester can stay the distance is the improvements in defence this season. Wesley Fofana signed for £36.5m from Saint-Étienne in October, and the French Under-21 international has been a consistent performer. The 20-year-old has forged a good relationship with another youngster, 22-year-old James Justin. Justin had big boots to fill, replacing Ben Chilwell who moved to Chelsea. Belgium Timothy Castagne is also producing some great performances at right-back. Leicester’s five clean sheets in twelve away games are as many as they managed in the entire 2019-20 season.
On the road, Leicester has been incredible. Their twenty-seven points collected away from the King Power are the most in the league (equal with Manchester United). They would have had the best record had they managed more than a draw in their last game; a 0-0 draw with their Midlands rivals Wolves.
Leicester have a good record against the top six beating Chelsea 2 – 0, Tottenham 2 – 0, Arsenal 1 – 0, and the infamous 5 – 2 thumping of Man City at the Etihad. The only defeat Leicester have experienced on their travels is a 3-0 defeat by this weekend’s opponents Liverpool in late November. After the game with Liverpool, Leicester are in Europa League action next Thursday, playing Slavia Prague in the Round of 32.
Liverpool lost their “must-win” battle with Manchester City last weekend, and they now face another crucial game if they have any realistic hopes of keeping pace with City. In the 4-1 defeat at Anfield against Manchester City, City’s Phil Fodden ran Liverpool ragged and had a hand in three of Man City goals against them. Andrew Robertson lost the battle with Phil Foden, and Trent Alexander Arnold had a busy day in office against Raheem Sterling.
While the two wingbacks received criticism for their performances in the defeat to City, Alisson Becker made the headlines, gifting City two goals in the space of three minutes. The Liverpool goalkeeper had a game to forget, first failing to clear the ball which enabled Fodden to set-up Ilkay Gundogan for his second goal. Minutes after this first mistake, another blunder saw the keeper pass the ball to Bernardo Silva who chipped a ball to Raheem Sterling who couldn’t miss from the goal line. The 4-1 scoreline could have been worse, Gundogan missed a first-half penalty. Liverpool went 68-games unbeaten at Anfield before this run of three home defeats-in-a-row.
Jürgen Klopp’s post-match interview may have surprised a few Liverpool supporters. The German stating that he had witnessed a confident Liverpool team, adding that he liked the way they played. Klopp said it was difficult to explain how they lost 4-1.
Supporters will have questioned why new defensive recruits, Ben Davies or Ozan Kabak didn’t start, allowing captain Henderson to play in his more accustomed midfield role. Fabinho is also not convincing in the centre-back role; if not for Alisson’s performance, he would have won the wooden spoon against City.
Klopp will have to start rotating soon, after Leicester, they face RB Leipzig in the Champions League before a clash with neighbours Everton just four days later.
Leicester have four players ruled out with injury but, Wilfred Ndidi could return.
Vardy is back from injury and is the Foxes best player with eleven goals and five assists.
Mane has scored three, while Firmino has scored four goals, in the last five games against Leicester City.
Liverpool’s top scorer is Mohamed Salah who has scored twenty-two in all competitions.
|Leicester (4-2-3-1):||Schmeichel, Justin, Soyuncu, Evans, Pereira, Choudhury, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy|
|Subs:||Ward, Amartey, Fuchs, Thomas, Under, Mendy, Iheanacho, Perez|
|Injured:||Fofana, Castagne, Morgan, Praet|
|Liverpool (4-3-3):||Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane|
|Subs:||Adrian, Kelleher, Kayak, Tsimikas, Williams, Jones, Elliott, Milner, Origi|
|Injured:||Jota, Matip, Keita, Gomez, Van Dijk|
So Far This Season
|Leicester This Season||Liverpool This Season|
|13 (8)||Wins (away)||11 (4)|
|5 – 2 v Man City||Biggest Win||7 – 0 v Crystal Palace|
|4 (3)||Draws (away)||7 (5)|
|0 – 3 v West Ham||Biggest Defeat||2 – 7 v Aston Villa|
|Vardy (11)||Top Goal Scorer||Salah (16)|
|Y43, R0||Discipline||Y25, R0|
|5||Failures to Score||5|
|43%||Both Teams to Score Games||47%|
|52%||Over 2.5 Goals||57%|
|48%||Under 2.5 Goals||43%|
- Leicester City and Liverpool have played 29 matches so far; The Foxes have seven wins against the Reds 16 wins with six draws.
- Leicester City has an average 1.70 goals per match while Liverpool is averaging 1.95 goals scored per game.
- Liverpool have won 83% of the last six games between the two (five wins, one draw).
- Liverpool last lost to Leicester in 2017, losing both in the EFL Cup and in the league that year.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|22/11/2020||EPL||Liverpool 3 – 0 Leicester||Jota 41’|
|26/12/2019||EPL||Leicester 0 – 4 Liverpool||Firmino 31’|
|05/10/2019||EPL||Liverpool 2 – 1 Leicester||Mane 40’|
|30/01/2019||EPL||Liverpool 1 – 1 Leicester||Mane 3’|
|01/09/2018||EPL||Leicester 1 – 2 Liverpool||Mane 10’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
It’s no surprise that Leicester’s dip in form that has seen them win one of the last three coincided with injury worries to Jamie Vardy and Wilfred Ndidi. Leicester’s stand out players and fans will be pleased they will be back in the side. Leicester have already shown they can beat the big guns, as City know after a 5-2 beating at the Etihad. A wounded Liverpool might be a different proposition, though.
Liverpool likes playing Leicester as the Foxes haven’t put up much of a fight in recent years, enjoying a seven-match run without defeat against them. A 1-1 draw in January in 2019 stopping Liverpool enjoying a 100% record. Liverpool also know they cannot afford any more slip-ups. Manchester City faces a tough game against Tottenham at the weekend, but if results go their way, they could be thirteen points ahead of the champions and with a game in hand.
Much has been made of Liverpool’s home form but their recent away form is good, winning 3-1 against both West Ham and Tottenham and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this game won by the same scoreline which is available @ 16/1 with bet365. A safer bet is a Liverpool win, priced @ 1/1.