Liverpool will try to exploit Leicester’s defensive frailties when the teams meet at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night. The Reds should be perfectly capable of doing so.
Leicester City FC vs. Liverpool FC
Tuesday, December 28, 2021 – 03:00 PM EST at King Power Stadium
Leicester is now lumbered with the fourth-worst defensive record in the Premier League after losing 6-3 to Man City on Sunday.
The Foxes have conceded 33 goals in just 17 games, which has seen them slump down to 10th in the table. They finished fifth last season, but they have struggled to replicate that form this time around.
Leicester remains dangerous in attack, but the defense has struggled badly. The Foxes have kept just two clean sheets in 17 games this season.
Injuries have not helped. Wesley Fofana is out for the season, while first-choice central defenders Jonny Evans and Çağlar Söyüncü missed the game against Man City due to injury. Full-backs Ricardo Pereira, Ryan Bertrand, and James Justin are all missing too, forcing Marc Albrighton to play as a makeshift right-back on Sunday and rookie Luke Thomas to start at left-back.
Leicester’s defensive woes are perhaps understandable in that context. Yet the team’s inability to deal with set pieces is inexcusable. Liverpool is blessed with a devastating dead ball specialist in Trent Alexander-Arnold, which could cause all sorts of problems for Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Van Dijk and Fabinho Set to Return for Liverpool
Liverpool should be fresher for this game after its clash with Leeds at the weekend was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Leeds camp.
The Reds were missing several players due to Covid, including Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago Alcântara, and Curtis Jones, but they are now back in training and available for this game.
Roberto Firmino is back from injury, and he will compete with Diogo Jota for a place Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané in attack. All four players are in fine form, which could spell bad news for Leicester.
Salah and Mané will soon leave for the Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place from January 9th to February 6th in Cameroon, but they are still available for the next couple of games.
Leicester’s Defensive Woes
Before losing 6-3 to Man City, Leicester played out a 3-3 draw with Liverpool’s reserve team in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
The Foxes started their best players in the game, whereas Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp fielded just two first-team regulars – Firmino and Jordan Henderson. The rest of the Liverpool team was made up of youth players and reserves, but the Reds still had 66% of the possession and dominated the game.
Liverpool went 2-0 and 3-1 down, but it battled back in the second half to secure a 3-3 draw, and it won the subsequent penalty shootout to advance to the semi-finals. The Reds should be a lot more dominant with their key players in the starting 11.
For our soccer picks, Liverpool is the -250 favorite with BetMGM to beat an injury ravaged Leicester in this game. The Foxes are missing a couple of attackers, but Jamie Vardy and James Maddison could cause Liverpool problems, so it is likely to be a high-scoring game.
Liverpool to win and both teams to score therefore looks appealing. The Reds have scored in all 18 of their games so far this season, while Leicester has scored in 14 out of 17, and it did open up the Man City defense on several occasions at the weekend.
Liverpool to Win and Over 2.5 goals (-145) at FanDuel
Liverpool to Win and Both Teams to Score (+130) at FanDuel
Mohamed Salah to Score (-140) at DraftKings