Following the midweek exertions in the form of the Carabao Cup round three fixtures, the Premier League will resume at the home of the 2015/16 champions, Leicester City.
The Foxes will take on Liverpool having faced Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the League Cup on Tuesday and beat them 2-0 in an entertaining encounter. It’s fair to say the home side will be buzzing at the opportunity to face one of the likely top six sides come Saturday. Craig Shakespeare looks settled in and after a string of poor results in the early weeks, Leicester City have shown signs of dogged determination at the back, supplemented by their lethal counter-attacking ability to catch teams off guard. It will be interesting to see if they could inflict a double blow on Liverpool’s domestic season within a period of 4 days.
For Liverpool, it is not quite make or break at this point in time, but it is hard to see them regroup quick enough to mount a challenge for the league title, should they drop even more points on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp is under considerable pressure to sustain his position in the top four, but Liverpool’s form since the start of 2017/18 has been as inconsistent as ever: a mainstay feature since the effervescent German took over the reins from Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool, who will make the long and arduous trip to Russia in midweek, are in need of a victory, and a big one at that, to make amends for the humbling defeat they suffered at the Etihad a couple weeks back since when they’ve failed to register a win on the board.
With Matty James and Adrien Silva definitely out for Saturday’s visit of Liverpool, Craig Shakespeare will be hoping that key forward Jamie Vardy and full-back Christian Fuchs will prove their fitness to get themselves back in contention for the weekend.
For Liverpool, the injury concerns are much deeper, and rotation is expected with the second group stage fixture away from home on the horizon. As many as six first-team members are either ruled out or doubtful to feature in the starting eleven.
Liverpool will assess the fitness of Dejan Lovren (back), Joel Matip, and Emre Can before Saturday while new signing Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain will need prior assessments and Sadio Mane will miss out due to suspension.
- Liverpool have lost only two of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Leicester City, but both defeats came in their last three matches.
- The Foxes can win three home PL matches in a row against Liverpool for the first time.
- If Liverpool loses this match, Leicester will be the first team to beat Jurgen Klopp three times in the PL.
Islam Slimani – Leicester City
Slimani has made four appearances for the Foxes and is yet to score in the Premier League this season. But the Algerian forward has already made his mark in the League Cup by scoring a brilliant goal from outside the box to seal progression to the fourth round.
Leicester have a good mix of attacking options up front—each lethal in their own right—but Slimani, being a nuisance inside the box and particularly prolific, can cause an unsettled Reds back four a truck-load of problems on Saturday.
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool
On his day, the Brazilian can be unplayable and is one of the best attacking talents in the Premier League. Following a tiring and drawn out transfer saga involving himself and FC Barcelona, it is understandable that Coutinho is taking his time to get to a level where he can hurt teams week-in, week-out.
With the pressure firmly on Liverpool now, it’s time that the 25-year old channeled his focus into matters on the pitch to help Liverpool out of this rut they are in.
Liverpool’s defensive frailties are hard to look past, which means Leicester have a good chance of following up their League Cup win over the Reds with another positive result.
Leicester City 2-2 Liverpool