LIVERPOOL VS. LEICESTER CITY
| Sunday, November 22nd |
Premier League | Anfield
7:15PM GMT/2:15AM EST
What is there even to say about this match? Klopp is basically going to put out the same side he’d pick for a fourth round League Cup game because half of the normal starting XI is out injured or sick. This season is getting more ridiculous with each game played, but onward we go.
Bright side here: the game is at Anfield. Thiago, Fabinho and, despite some doubt, Andy Robertson, might be fit to play. Neco Williams should have naturally subbed in for Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right, but he’s been hit with some problems as well, so it might be human master key James Milner starting there on Sunday.
Without Mohamed Salah, Klopp will likely return to his preferred 4-3-3 formation with Diogo Jota in the usual Salah role. He previously employed a 4-2-3-1 against Manchester City in order to accommodate both Jota and Roberto Firmino. Hopefully the in form Jota remains up for the task, because plenty of firepower will be needed to counteract the makeshift defense that the Reds will roll out.
Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City have set the pace so far this season. However, despite Liverpool losing Virgil van Dijk for the duration and Alisson for a handful of games, the Foxes only lead by a single point on the table. A victory on Sunday would see Liverpool leap frog over them into one of the top two spots.
Liverpool are not the only team entrenched in an injury crisis thanks to this busy season. Leicester have also been without key players over the course of the first eight league games. Sunday they should be welcoming back key figures like Wesley Fofana and Timothy Castagne.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; N Williams, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Keita; Jota, Firmino, Mané
Let’s take the most optimistic approach and assume that Neco, Thiago, Robertson and Fabinho are all available tomorrow. Otherwise, we could see Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri or Curtis Jones mixed and matched into the set-up instead.
As for players who won’t be making it onto the pitch — how much time you got?
Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah all remain out of contention for Klopp.
For Leicester City, they’ll be without Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi, Daniel Amartey and Caglar Soyuncu on the day.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “Of course, it’s eight matchdays and Leicester not only showed last year how good they can be, this year again. They changed their style slightly maybe because of the injuries they had. Good example of how you can deal with an ‘injury crisis’. Did really well, are in a good moment, have a clear idea how they want to play. It’s a tough one and, of course, they are contenders for everything.”
Brendan Rodgers: “Ricardo’s in training with the group, which is great news, and he’ll most probably play in a reserve game next week. He’s progressing really well. Wilf is out on the field. He still has a number of weeks to go, but he’s progressing well. Soyuncu, likewise, is maybe a few weeks away, but training with the squad. Timothy Castagne’s back in again, which is great news, and Wesley Fofana will be fine, so we’re slowly starting to get our players back.”
Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Assistants: Daniel Cook, Marc Perry. Fourth official: Paul Tierney. VAR: Andre Marriner. Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton.
Kickoff is set for 7:15PM GMT/2:15PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.