Premier League toppers Liverpool return to action on Wednesday at Anfield against a struggling Leicester City side.
The Reds are with 60 points and looking to fend off second-place Manchester City, while Leicester in ninth place with 31 points.
The Anfield-based will start the match top of the Premier League and were handed a huge boost in the title race when second-placed Manchester City succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to relegation battlers Newcastle United on Tuesday night. The Reds now have a great chance to widen the gap at the top to seven points. Leicester City, on the other hand, have lost four of their last five matches across all competitions, with their latest fixture ending in a thrilling 4-3 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers ten days ago.
🔴 It's Matchday Reds 🔴
Big game at Anfield vs Leicester City
The chance to go 7 points ahead in this title race
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) January 30, 2019
The pressure will be on Liverpool to perform and win again this week, though the Reds have rarely been found wanting this season, especially at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s men have won 10 of their 11 Premier League matches on home turf this season and you have to go all the way back to April 2017 to find Liverpool’s last league defeat in front of their own supporters. Klopp’s side boast the best defensive record in the league, conceding four goals fewer than next best Man City, though their injury issues are beginning to tell. The week-and-a-half break may have come at the perfect time for the leaders.
On Wednesday, James Milner will miss the game against Leicester City through suspension and, with Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold both recovering from injuries, Liverpool could be short at right-back. The latter is close to a return from a knee injury, however, and could be risked.
Georgino Wijnaldum is fit again after a knee injury, while Fabinho is expected to recover from a tight hamstring and Dejan Lovren is also expected to return at centre-back.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 30, 2019
Claude Puel, the Foxes boss, is under immense pressure having lost three successive games prior to their Anfield tie but must be high on confidence causing a couple upsets already defeating the Citizens as well as Chelsea. So, there is no doubt Leicester have the tools to spring an upset as they have shown already this season. In Jamie Vardy, they possess a player tailor-made for playing on the counter-attack, while the team is also adept at defending deep for long spells when the situation demands.
Even so, having had time to get sun on their backs and fatigue out of their legs, Liverpool have it in them to tear into a side lacking in confidence. They have been outstanding at Anfield for a long time, and they will take another step towards Premier League glory on Wednesday.
The Foxes defender, Harry Maguire limped off during Leicester’s defeat to Wolves and faces an assessment ahead of this match at Anfield. Jonny Evans returned from injury to replace Maguire last time out and could start. Daniel Amartey is out until March but is the only one of the Foxes’ players currently sidelined.
Liverpool manager Klopp was full of praise for Leicester ahead of the clash at Anfield on Wednesday, claiming they have a ‘super team’ with quality all over the pitch.
“We expect a very dangerous opponent, that’s how it is because they have quality. If we can go through the team, that’s a super team, to be honest with you,” Klopp said.
“I can imagine that they are not happy with the situation because, if you think about it, I’m not sure which position are they in at the moment. 11th? 10th? 11 or so.”
“But they have a really good team. Centre-halves, full-backs, midfielders, really interesting, really interesting and up front, they are very talented and with Jamie Vardy one of the best strikers in the league.”
Liverpool lead the head to head tie by five wins after they were successful in three consecutive clashes against the Foxes. One should expect goals on Wednesday knowing that six of past seven head to head meetings between these two likes saw both teams scoring. The Reds won all of past four head to head affairs with the Foxes.
Player to watch
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) January 28, 2019
Mohamed Salah: The Egyptian has scored six goals in his last six league appearances and, with 16 goals, is the league’s top scorer and Liverpool’s go-to man. If he fires, Liverpool should win comfortably so his finishing form will need to be kept in check by Leicester if the visitors are to get something from the game.
Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Matip, Fabinho, Camacho; Wijnaldum, Henderson; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah
Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Pereira, Maddison, Albrighton; Vardy