Liverpool vs Leicester City. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
As you know, in the previous season, Liverpool lost to Manchester City in the championship race by only one point. The reason is that the Reds suffered several unfortunate losses during that campaign. Given the number and quality of chances created, the most disappointing among them was the defeat against Leicester in the match, which also took place on New Year’s Eve. At the King Power, Jurgen Klopp’s team struck 21 shots (against 6 opponents) with an xG of 2.71, earned a penalty, but failed to break through Kasper Schmeichel, who two days earlier had conceded six goals against Manchester City.
This time the teams will play not in Leicester, but in Liverpool. Will Jurgen Klopp’s men be able to return the ‘favor’ to the Foxes? Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Liverpool News & Current Form:
After the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, club football is slowly making a comeback and English clubs are among the first to resume the season, it is all because of the tradition – Boxing Day – when plenty of matches are played after Christmas. Liverpool has already played two games: first, the charges of Jurgen Klopp and his lads were eliminated from the League Cup in the round of 16. It was an exciting shootout to watch, but unfortunately for the Reds’ fans Manchester City prevailed 2:3. After that the Merseysideiders were quick to rehabilitate themselves, confidently thrashing Aston Villa (3:1).
However, the success against the Lions did not change anything for the Reds, leaving them 6th in the table, 15 points behind leading Arsenal. Still, it will undoubtedly give them the confidence that was lacking in the first part of the season, which included inexplicable defeats to Leeds United and Nottingham Forest. There were also frustrating draws against Fulham, Crystal Palace, Everton and Brighton – something that is very unusual for the team that was the main title contender year after year.
What is encouraging is that the victory in Birmingham was Liverpool’s third in a row in the EPL, and the Reds are slowly making up for the situation in which they found themselves in the first part of the season. Now, Klopp’s men are hardly a championship contender and their main objective now is to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
The last game against Aston Villa marked a couple of important milestones for Liverpool: first, Andrew Robertson scored his 54th goal in the Premier League and became the best assistant among defenders in the league’s history. Secondly, 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic scored his first goal for Liverpool, it was his second Premier League appearance.
In essence, the reason for the Merseyside side’s setbacks and such a sudden decline was an onslaught of injuries. Right from the start of the season, Klopp has lost a number of key players, and here we should also consider the departure of crucial player Sadio Mane, as well as the unconvincing performance of the main bid of the season – Darwin Nunez. And, frankly, a lot of others have had a very hard time getting into the new 22/23 campaign… including Salah and Van Dijk. Luckily they managed to pull themselves together.
Now, Liverpool, despite an ongoing injury blow (Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz, James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Arthur Melo are all injured), is in excellent form. Klopp has also brought back World Cup players Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, which of course has made the Reds more classy and reliable in defense.
Mohamed Salah has also proven he is in superb form – the Egyptian scored against Aston Villa and provided an assist for Virgil. Salah now has 175 points in the goal+pass system after 195 matches for Liverpool. Fantastic numbers.
Still, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been underperforming offensively. In 15 games, the Liverpool players have scored 31 goals. That said, the team also has not a really reliable defense – in 15 rounds, the team conceded only 18 goals (5th best in the league).
Given the generic goalscoring problems and the recent injury to Diaz, the bosses of the Reds decided to change the situation by splurging funds for the big European talent. Before the winter transfer window even opened, Liverpool secured a crazy deal by the standards of today’s market. The 23-year-old PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo is set to make his mark at Anfield in the second half of the season. The transfer fee for one of the top talents in Dutch football is a laughable €42 million.
Remarkably, the transfer was executed extremely skillfully, as if from out of the blue. While journalists were trumpeting that the player was on Manchester United’s radar, Liverpool quietly pulled off a hefty deal behind the scenes.
Cody has been very good at the club earlier this season, scoring 9 goals and providing 12 assists in 14 games. To this result you can also add 4+5 in ten games of Champions League qualification, the UEFA Europa League group stage and the Dutch Super Cup. On average, Gakpo produces 1.25 assists and goals in 90 minutes, a very respectable number.
Now Gakpo will help Salah with Darwin Nunez to push Liverpool as high as possible in the EPL and UCL. The expectations will be as high for him as he showed at PSV.
We’re almost halfway through the season in the Premier League with 22-23 games left to play. Liverpool in particular has 23 games left, which means the newcomer will be given plenty of playing time to prove himself. Especially considering the fact that his rivals at left-back – Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota – are out injured.
Cody Gakpo told how his compatriot Virgil van Dijk, who has played for the Reds since 2018, persuaded him to agree a move to the English club:
“We spoke a lot over the phone [in] the last few days. What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family – I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things. I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff. I’m really grateful to be here.”
“I think this is a great club for me to come in and try to show what I can [do] and try to help the team to achieve more beautiful moments that they already did in the past years. I think for me personally it’s also good to develop here and there’s a lot of great players here [who] I can learn a lot of things from.”
“I’m looking forward to playing at Anfield. I’ve heard a lot of great stories about the stadium, about the atmosphere. Obviously, my goal is to help the team win as many trophies as possible and continue to develop and get better every season.”
Head coach Jurgen Klopp has commented on the transfer of Cody Gakpo:
“There is a lot to like about Cody. He is still only 23 years old but he already has a lot of experience. He was the captain of PSV, he was the Player of the Year in Holland last season and, as a lot of people have just seen, he also had a great World Cup with his national team. So, it is clear that he is already a really, really good player but his age also means he also has the potential to become even better. Offensively, he is very versatile and on top of this we know he is a smart footballer and also a smart person, so we are really excited to be able to work with him.”
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Leicester News & Current Form:
Only a couple of years ago, the Foxes were fighting for European cups, but nothing in football is constant – suddenly this season has started simply as a nightmare for Brendan Rodgers. The team was struggling for a long time at the bottom of the table, but by mid-autumn, they finally managed to find stability and start picking up points.
To call the restart of the season encouraging is difficult. Leicester had a mixed start to the season, with players of Brendan Rodgers first beating MK Dons (3:0) in the League Cup to reach the quarter-finals, before losing on home soil to Newcastle United (0:3) in the league. In this case, the team from Leicester failed miserably in the first half – by the 32nd minute, the Newcastle players scored three goals.
Hopefully, the Foxes will do the homework as the Magpies will also be their future rivals in the League Cup.
After this defeat, Leicester sits in 13th place in the league table and only four points from the relegation zone.
There are some problems with the reliability of the team’s defense. They have conceded 28 goals in 16 games. On the other hand, they look more lively on the attack – scoring 25 times already.
Being asked about Praet, Coach Rodgers said:
“He won’t be available either. He’s still sore and struggling with his side so we’ll look to see where he’s at.”
“He won’t be available for the game. He was with Mark [Waller], our doctor, getting some special advice in London today so I’ll wait to hear from them later on.”
“He hasn’t trained with the squad. He was clearly getting treatment out [in Qatar] and he and the medical team deemed him okay to train. He was available for games (for England). He came back here, looked to do some work, and then felt a pain in a different part of his knee.”
“The medical team has assessed that. He tried to go out and do some multidirectional work and he was getting pain from that. The medical team and the Club have gone down to London to get another opinion on it and to see where he’s at. That’s where we’re up to at this moment in time.”
Liverpool form guide: D-W-L-W-L-W
Leicester form guide: L-W-W-W-W-L
Liverpool vs Leicester Head-To-Head Record:
- December 26, 2019: Liverpool 4-0 Leicester City (Premier League);
- November 22, 2022: Liverpool 3-0 Leicester City (Premier League);
- February 13, 2021: Liverpool 1-3 Leicester City (Premier League);
- December 22, 2021: Liverpool 3-3 Leicester City (League Cup);
- December 28, 2021: Liverpool 0-1 Leicester City (Premier League);
- February 10, 2022: Liverpool 2-0 Leicester City (Premier League).
Although Liverpool is considered the stronger team, Leicester is a rather uncomfortable opponent for them – after five games, the teams have exchanged victories twice and drew once.
This draw was recorded a year ago in regulation time in the League Cup quarter-final, 3-3. Klopp’s team managed to come back from 1-3 down to win the penalty shoot-out and eventually take the trophy.
Liverpool vs Leicester Predicted XI:
Liverpool’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Nunez, Carvalho.
Leicester’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Faes, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans; Perez, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes; Vardy.
Statistical preview of the match Liverpool vs Leicester:
- Liverpool sits 6th in the standings, while Leicester is 13th.
- Total market value of Liverpool’s squad is $868 mln, while the value of Leicester is $428 mln.
- Liverpool’s First XI average age is 28.2 yrs.
- Leicester’s First XI average age is 27.1 yrs.
- Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah are Liverpool’s greatest scorers, scoring 7 goals each.
- James Maddison is the midfielder who has scored the most goals for the Foxes – 7.
- The last time Leicester was victorious at Anfield was back in 2000.
- Leicester City have scored over 1.5 goals in 6 of the last 7 away games.
- Leicester City have won in each of their last 4 away games.
- Leicester City have not conceded in each of their last 4 away games.
- Liverpool have scored in 11 of the last 12 Premier League games against Leicester City.
- Liverpool have scored less than 2.5 goals in 6 of the last 7 home games.
- Liverpool have not lost in 30 of the last 31 Premier League home games.
What has been said before the match:
Commenting disappointing game against Newcastle, Coach Rodgers said:
“It was an awful start. We didn’t play with a lot of quality either. In fairness to the players, they kept going, the spirit was there. We tried to change it at half-time to put more pressure on the backline and give us extra numbers in midfield, but overall, it was a disappointing performance. We didn’t do enough to get anywhere near winning the game – to getting to our level, our tempo.”
“The one thing I have learned in the Premier League is that you need to have an attitude. You need to be committed, you need to be organized, you need to play with passion, and when you have the ball, you have to have courage and that commitment to play and be aggressive. We had none of that today, which really surprised me. It’s just intensity, number one. We didn’t do enough to get anywhere near winning the game – to getting to our level, our tempo. We’ll get in tomorrow, talk through it, and then prepare for Friday.”
“It’s always a difficult game but it’s a great challenge for us. Challenges are there to be overcome, and it’s a great opportunity for us to get back out there in a fantastic game.”
Coach Jurgen Klopp commented the upcoming match:
“Chasing. We are in a chasing mood. We have to be very uncomfortable for everybody who faces us, that’s how it is.”
“Leicester had now their first game as well and they didn’t have a good start into the game, the intensity Newcastle put in was quite exceptional and for that day Leicester couldn’t cope with it, but Brendan is an outstanding manager, Leicester have a lot of great, great players so they will try to do it completely differently against us and that’s what we have to be really aware of.”
“Our start was not brilliant so I didn’t have a more detailed look at the Leicester start, but I realized they didn’t collect a lot of points but found a way into the league as well. And yeah, great results before the break obviously. Now, for whatever reason, I don’t know exactly, we watched that game now obviously, I saw it but I cannot 100 percent know or explain why things happened. Of course Maddison is a big miss, that’s clear, but apart from that they had a really strong side but Newcastle are just a really good team, that’s obvious as well.”
“I expect a tough game and I expect a reaction and I expect all these kinds of things that you would expect. They changed the system during the game, which makes it now a little bit tricky to prepare for a specific system. They played with five in the back, they played 4-2-3-1, in this game now changed to a diamond, which looked I think more stable in that moment. Will Brendan decide to do that again? I don’t know.”
Liverpool vs Leicester Prediction:
In this match, we expect full control of the game by the hosts, who are in excellent condition, both mentally and physically. Klopp’s team have shown that they are quite well prepared, despite the fact that numerous players are injured or have just recently returned from the Mundial. Leicester, in turn, are playing well against opponents from the bottom of the table, while they have serious problems with their leaders, the recent match against Newcastle is the hot evidence. Liverpool are likely to pick up their fourth successive league win.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: Liverpool to win – Yes.
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