Liverpool’s march for glory will be tested when they host high-flying Leicester City in a matchday 8 fixture on Saturday. The Reds aren’t naive of the threat that the Foxes pose to the traditional EPL top 4, top 6 clubs. Of course, Liverpool cannot forget in a hurry, the hurting inflicted by the likes of Leicester on their way to missing the EPL title last season, Liverpool led the league with 60 points, 4 points ahead of Manchester City, going into the matchday 24 at home to Leicester. The Reds were held 1-1 by the Foxes, a result that came first in a string of 4 draws for Liverpool(1-1 vs West Ham, 0-0 vs Man Utd & 0-0 vs Everton), that ultimately cost them the league. This weekend’s fixture is one Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will definitely not be taken lightly.
There is no doubt about the threat Liverpool possesses in the attack, the front 3 of Mane, Firmino & Salah have between them shared 11 out of 18 league goals scored by Liverpool, not to forget the threat coming from both right and left-back through the marauding Trent Alex-Arnold and Andrews Robertson. However, there is a new worry brewing, the once impenetrable Van Dijk led defence line seems to be conceding needless goals. Having conceded 22 goals in the entire league last season, Liverpool has conceded 5 this season already(at this rate, they will concede more than last season). They conceded goals(3) at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League for the 1st time in 5 matches(since UCL matchday 1 3-2 win over PSG last season). There is no undermining of their stand-in goalkeeper Adrian but they use the return of their safest hands Alisson Becker between the posts.
After the 2015/16 title-winning fairy tale run, Leicester has struggled to challenge for titles since. However, another managerial shakeup of brought in former Liverpool and Celtic manager Brendan Rogers, and he has since helped breathe in a new belief within the squad. Leicester sits 3rd in EPL table with 14 points, just 2 points adrift of Manchester City in 2nd place, having played 7, won 4, drawn 2 and lost just 1 so far. The Foxes have scored 13 goals and conceded as much as their weekend opponent. More of a team-playing side rather than a star-studded one like Liverpool, they boast of some decent players in their ranks too, a pacey striker in Jamie Vardy, a ball-playing midfielder in James Maddison, a combative defensive midfielder in Wilfred Ndidi and a few others.
Liverpool(W3, D1, L1) holds the advantage in this fixture, winning 3 of the last 5 league meetings. Leicester(W1, D1, L3), on the other hand, had just 1 win in the last 5. However, whoever underestimate how cunning a fox can be, does so at his own peril, if Red Bull Salzburg can score 3 at Anfield, why not Leicester.
Liverpool needs to be wary of Leicester’s counter-attacking threat, the Foxes will sure sit deep and hit back on the break, with the pace of Vardy and passes of Maddison to exploit. It promises to be an entertaining tie.
Bookmakers still favour the Reds’ home win, understandably so, their 16 straight league wins weren’t a mere feat. It’s looking like a narrow 1 goal margin win for Liverpool but a score draw cannot be overlooked. 1-0 Liverpool win.
Have an entertaining sporting weekend folks, Thank you all.