MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 22:20:36| >> :120:10232:10232:
Feb 13, 2021 at 12.30pm UK at King Power Stadium
LeicesterLeicester City
3-1
LiverpoolLiverpool
Maddison (78'), Vardy (81'), Barnes (85')
Evans (43')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Salah (67')
Jones (24'), Kabak (71')

Preview: Leicester City vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Third hosts fourth in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime when high-flying Leicester City welcome champions Liverpool to the King Power Stadium.

Three points separate the two sides in the table after 23 games, and the visitors arrive at the King Power looking to bounce back from successive league defeats for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.


Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Klopp had been warning for weeks that Liverpool's main fight this season is for a top-four spot rather than for the title, even before last Sunday's chastening 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City.

While a couple of costly and uncharacteristic Alisson Becker errors gave the scoreline a slightly skewed look, the facts are increasingly grim for a Liverpool side already a whopping 24 points off the pace they set last season.

The Reds were 19 points clear at the top after 23 games of 2019-20 but now find themselves 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester City having played a game more, not to mention five points behind second-placed Manchester United and three off Saturday's hosts.

Liverpool's superior goal difference over Leicester means that victory this weekend would lift them back up to third, but anything less than that would open the door to Chelsea, who are now just a point behind following their resurgence under Thomas Tuchel, to leapfrog the champions into the top four.

Some may even consider Leicester as slight favourites for this match given that Liverpool have won just two of their last nine league outings, including back-to-back defeats for the first time under Klopp.

Liverpool players look dejected after conceding to Manchester City in February 2021© Reuters

Current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was in charge the last time Liverpool lost three Premier League games in a row, in November 2014, but in a stark turnaround in form it is at home where most of those recent troubles have come.

Away from Anfield, Liverpool are looking to win three consecutive top-flight games for the first time in a year, winning three and losing one of their last five compared to three defeats and no wins from their last five home league games.

Even so, nine teams have still picked up more points than Liverpool on the road this season, although Leicester's home form has not been overly impressive either, with the Foxes faring much better on their travels.

Leicester have already lost more home games this season than they did throughout the whole of 2019-20, and another defeat on Saturday would see Rodgers suffer six home league defeats in a season for the first time in his managerial career.

Add to that the fact that former Liverpool managers have lost their last 12 Premier League reunions with the Reds stretching back to 2012, and that Leicester have lost 16 of their last 20 top-flight games against the reigning champions, and the omens perhaps look better for Liverpool than their recent form would suggest.

Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup on February 10, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, the Foxes are currently enduring their worst-ever home losing run against Liverpool in the league - three straight defeats - and could suffer four in a row against a particular opponent for the first time since 2003.

Home and away Liverpool have won six of the last seven Premier League meetings, but Saturday's showdown looks poised to be the most evenly-matched contest between the two sides in some time.

Leicester have suffered a minor slump in recent weeks with only one win in their last four league games, but they have also only lost one of their last 10, while only Man City have won more games over the course of the entire season so far.

A goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend edged the Foxes three points clear of their visitors on Saturday - a position Rodgers would have gleefully accepted had it been offered to him before the start of the season.

Even another Premier League title challenge is not yet out of the question for the 2015-16 champions, although the FA Cup may provide a more likely route to silverware after they secured their place in the quarter-finals with a last-gasp winner against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night.

Leicester City Premier League form: WWDLWD
Leicester City form (all competitions): WDLWDW

Liverpool Premier League form: DLWWLL
Liverpool form (all competitions): DLWWLL



Team News

Liverpool's Fabinho trudges off after suffering an injury against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on October 27, 2020© Reuters

Liverpool have suffered another centre-back injury blow in the buildup to this match, with Fabinho being ruled out due to a "little muscle issue".

Thiago Alcantara also missed Liverpool training earlier this week, while Georginio Wijnaldum was pictured training away from the rest of the squad, but there was no indication from Klopp in his pre-match press conference that either would miss this game.

Fabinho's absence could be offset in some part by a debut for deadline-day signing Ozan Kabak, while fellow new arrival Ben Davies is also in contention after almost a full week to prepare for this match.

Klopp may not be ready to throw both new signings into the starting XI together, though, so Jordan Henderson's return to midfield may be delayed with the captain continuing at centre-back in Fabinho's absence.

The six-day break will have been welcomed for a squad Klopp acknowledged was looking weary, although it has not eased his injury issues much with Naby Keita, Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all still sidelined.

Leicester have plenty of injury problems themselves too, compounded by the news that in-form full-back James Justin will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in the FA Cup win over Brighton.

That means that Christian Fuchs is likely to fill in on the left, with Timothy Castagne also among the absentees, although Rodgers could also consider going with three at the back.

Ayoze Perez was also amongst the walking wounded against Brighton, picking up a shin injury, so he could join Wesley Fofana, Dennis Praet and Wes Morgan on the sidelines.

There was better news in midweek with the return of Wilfred Ndidi, though, while the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Harvey Barnes, Jonny Evans and James Maddison should come back into the starting XI.

Maddison has had a direct hand in six goals from his last six Premier League home games, which is as many as he had managed in his previous 31 at the King Power.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Fuchs; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Jones, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane


SM words green background

We say: Leicester City 1-2 Liverpool

This is another tricky match in a very difficult run for Liverpool - both in terms of form and fixtures - but we are expecting the Reds to come out on top and pick up a much-needed victory.

Leicester have been one of the best sides in the division for almost two full seasons now but Liverpool have always dealt with them well in that time - most notably winning the last two meetings by a 7-0 aggregate scoreline, including a 3-0 triumph in the reverse.

The Foxes certainly have the ammo to pile more misery on Liverpool, but they are also missing some important players and their visitors have been in decent form on the road recently.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured in February 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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