Leicester City travels to Anfield to face injury-stricken Liverpool in an EPL top-of-the-table affair as Jurgen Klopp would look to keep up the EPL title race before his stars return later in the season.
AllNews understands that Liverpool is without at least five of its first-team player including Virgil Van Dijk as they engage in a top of the table affair with the Foxes at Anfield
Liverpool is third on the table behind Tottenham (2nd) and Leicester (1st) with just 1 point between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd after matchday 8.
Leicester City is the league-third scorer with 18 goals conceding 9 goals with Tottenham alone having the same goals conceded but 1 goal scored higher than them.
The Foxes are a formidable adversary for the Reds as they have had their share of wins against title contenders - 5-2 against Manchester City, 1-4 against Leeds United, 1-0 against Wolves.
In all their wins this term, they have scored at least three goals to overcome their opponent.
Liverpool will be up to the task of facing Brendan Rodger's foxes but the recent injury and sickness to the side might help Leicester City to see a less-attacking Liverpool side.
The loss of Alexandre Arnold would see fewer crosses or less accurate ones as the English man has been one of the goal creators with his aerial balls and pace down the right flank.
In the absence of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, the experienced Joel Matip is almost certain to start for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp's choice would be between Fabinho and Nathaniel Phillips to partner him at center-back.
Phillips, 23, impressed on loan at Stuttgart the last term and was superb in Liverpool’s 2-1 home win over West Ham United.
He made nine clearances and dominated in the air on his Premier League debut, keeping Hammers striker Sebastien Haller in check.
While Vardy clearly offers a very different type of threat to Haller, Phillips has an excellent turn of pace.
Against West Ham, Phillips (33.11km/hr) registered the third-highest top speed by a Liverpool player this season - only Salah (34.68km/hr) and Firmino (33.15km/hr) were faster, which statistically makes him the club’s quickest center-back - that singular factor could earn him the nod against Leicester.
Fabinho was excellent as a center-back at Stamford Bridge in September. His experience as a deep-lying midfielder, he is rarely flustered and his distribution is tremendous.
In the 2-0 win against Chelsea, the Brazilian made 90 passes with an accuracy of 96.7 percent.
When Leicester close down Liverpool’s defenders, Fabinho can be trusted not to lose possession in a bad area.
However, he is not especially fast, with a top speed this term of 30.87 km/h.
If he plays alongside Matip, who has peaked at 30.8 km/h this season, Liverpool will be nervous about the speed of Vardy and Harvey Barnes.
Should Klopp opt for a Fabinho-Matip partnership, he will probably have to change his normal strategy. If Liverpool pressed in their usual manner, keeping a high line, Leicester could tear them apart by playing balls in behind from transitions.
So instead, the EPL champions would need to drop deeper and apply pressure from a lower block.
Liverpool’s full-backs would also potentially have to play less adventurously to avoid leaving holes down the sides of their exposed center-backs.
There are pros and cons to picking Phillips or Fabinho in his makeshift rearguard, so Klopp’s final decision will be based on the tactical plan he prefers for this fixture.
Leicester City will be facing a rather weakened Liverpool though they still boast Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane, and Firmino in their front line which means they would still be lethal as always.
Danny Ward, Johnny Evans, Youri Tielemans, Kasper Schmeichel are all available for selection by Rodgers for the trip to Liverpool.
Jamie Vardy will be crucial to Leicester City, as the 33-year old is one of the highest scorers in the EPL this season with 8 goals leveled with Son, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Mohammed Salah.
His speed, pace, long-range shots, and aerial abilities will be decisive going into the match against any possible center-back Liverpool will line up especially with very little to choose from.
Not just Vardy, the presence of James Maddison also creates a robust attacking midfield presence for the foxes, though Wilfred Ndidi has been out for a while Nampalys Mendy has been able to replace him while Albrighton and Choudhury had also come in handy.
Youri Tielemans will be given a green light especially after a wonderful international break with Belgium qualifying for the UEFA Nations League.
Another goal for Youri Tielemans as Belgium reached the #NationsLeague Finals ??— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 18, 2020
4️⃣ Foxes featured during a busy night of international action ?
Another like him is Danny Ward, who also featured for Wales in a 3-1 win against Finland in the UEFA Nations League.
The match will be very narrow except if defensive errors and mistakes complicate things for Liverpool, we might be seeing another 7-2 scoreline just like against Aston Villa.
Sunday 22nd, November 2020 7:15 pm (UTC)