LEICESTER CITY VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, February 13th |
Premier League | King Power Stadium
12:30 PM GMT/7:30 AM EST
Leicester host Liverpool after having lost their last three matches at home against the Reds, a record that is their worst ever losing run against Liverpool per Opta. Home and away, Liverpool have been dominant in recent times, winning six of their last seven Premier League games against the Foxes,
Leicester are without the services of James Justin this weekend, as the English youth international, who had featured in 31 of Leicester’s 33 matches this season, has been ruled out with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury he picked up against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Foxes’ FA Cup tie midweek. The defender had played the most minutes (2865) for Leicester City thus far this season.
Though the loss of Justin will be a blow, Youri Tielemans has been coming into his own this season, recording six goals scored (xG 4.2) and four assists (xA 4.2). He, alongside Jamie Vardy, will need to be stopped if Liverpool hope to leave the East Midlands with three points.
For his part, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers hopes to correct previous errors Leicester have committed against Liverpool, specifically his side’s tendency to give up “poor goals” against the Reds.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Liverpool could well give a debut to one of their new center-backs against Leicester on Saturday, with Ozan Kabak the most likely given his experience this season with top-flight football in the Bundasliga.
That said, manager Jürgen Klopp is known for his caution in these situations, so fans should not be surprised to see the likes Nat Phillips, who has performed well when called upon, returning to the side.
While most of the pre-match concerns are around who will face up to Jamie Vardy following the news that Fabinho will not be fit to face Leicester, Klopp was careful to emphasize that his tactics for containing dangerous strikers focus less on a 1v1 matchup in defense and more on stopping service into the player from the midfield (and defense).
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp, on the team’s form: “There’s a lot of good signs in the last few weeks that show me we are not too far away.”
Brendan Rodgers: “I don’t think this game will define where we finis, but it’s the next game, and it’s against the Champions. It’s going to be a very tough game for us, but for us it’s another game to measure our progress.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn Fourth official: Lee Mason VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes
Kickoff is set for 12:30 PM GMT/7:30 AM 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.