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

:Headline: Preview: Leicester City vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predictions and lineups for Saturday's early Premier League kickoff between Leicester City and Liverpool.
By , Staff Reporter | 9mo

Liverpool will be hunting for their fourth Premier League win on the bounce when they take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the early kickoff on Saturday.

It is unlikely to be plain sailing for Jurgen Klopp and his team, though, as Claude Puel's side are in good form having recovered from their opening-day defeat.


Leicester City

After finishing ninth in the league table last season, the expectation on the Foxes is to push for a European place.

However, the team lost one of their key players in Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City and the club find themselves in a slight predicament due to the absence of Jamie Vardy.

The striker is serving a ban after being sent off in the Foxes' 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 18.

In a game of this magnitude on Saturday, it is far from ideal for Leicester to lose the attacker, but Puel can draw on the fact that his team are on a decent run of form.

The Foxes were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Manchester United on the opening weekend, and they have since responded with wins over Wolves and Southampton.

Summer signings James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira have slotted in well to life at Leicester, with the former scoring against Wolves on home soil.

Puel's side will head into this weekend's contest as underdogs due to Liverpool's positive form, but they have home comforts on their side.

In truth, the club can afford to have an off day given that they have winnable fixtures against Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Newcastle United coming up.

Recent form: LWW
Recent form (all competitions): LWWW


Liverpool

With the Reds sat at the top of the table, talk of them winning the league title is not going to slow down.

However, it is worth noting that the Merseyside outfit share the same number of points as Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Watford, who currently occupy fourth spot.

It has been a perfect start to the season in terms of results for Liverpool as they have beaten West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion without conceding a goal.

Klopp's new signings, particularly Naby Keita and Alisson Becker, have performed well consistently on the field, and what is that much more impressive is that the team are not quite at their best.

To win titles, sometimes players have to grind out wins and still get over the line when playing below par, and at the moment, that is what the Reds seem to be doing.

Playing away from Anfield is statistically worse for Liverpool and they were given a hard test at Selhurst Park when they faced Crystal Palace, but they managed to come away with a 2-0 triumph.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are already off the mark in terms of goalscoring, but Roberto Firmino is yet to hit the back of the net and the Brazilian has been relatively quiet thus far.

On paper, Saturday's fixture is a game that Liverpool should win, but they have struggled in these sort of games in the past, and there is extra pressure on them due to the expectation this season.

Usually, the club drift along the sidelines with the main focus on the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United in the title race, but Klopp's men are front and centre at the moment, and it is all about whether they can handle the pressure.

Recent form: WWW


Team News

For the home side, they already know that Vardy will be unavailable as he serves the second of a three-match ban, but that does open the door to other talent.

Kelechi Iheanacho was given the starting role against Southampton and he could keep his place in a bid to become the first player to score against the Reds this season.

Caglar Soyuncu is yet to be seen in a competitive fixture by Leicester fans, but the defender may still have to wait for his debut as he tries to get up to speed on the training pitch.

As for Liverpool, there are no fresh injury concerns, but perhaps it is time for Klopp to tinker with his squad as he has captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho pushing for a starting spot.

The skipper made another cameo appearance against Brighton last weekend, and he impressed with his energy and skill on the ball, which must give Klopp something to think about ahead of team selection.

On the other hand, why change a winning formula?

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Chilwell, Maguire, Morgan, Amartey; Ndidi, Mendy; Gray, Maddison, Pereira; Iheanacho

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Robertson, Gomez, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold; Keita, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Salah


Head To Head



Historically, Liverpool have come out on top when these two teams have met having won 47 of their 110 clashes, with 24 resulting in draws and Leicester claiming 39.

Recently, though, it has not been an easy contest for the Reds, despite the fact that they have won their last two meetings with the former Premier League champions.

In fact, in those games, Klopp's side conceded three goals, one of which ended in a dramatic 3-2 victory for Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.

In the last five matches between the two, the Merseyside outfit have failed to keep a clean sheet, with Leicester winning two of the fixtures in all competitions.


We say: Leicester City 1-2 Liverpool



There is no doubt that Liverpool will face a tough test at the King Power, and the fact that they have not yet hit top form suggests that Leicester will give them a major test. Puel may not have Vardy or Mahrez to cause damage to the Reds this time around, but back-to-back wins will give the team plenty of confidence heading into the showdown. However, it is only a matter of time before Liverpool get into full flow, and Klopp has the players that can get the job done.






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