On December second, Liverpool travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City. With the busy winter period about to go into full swing, both teams would love nothing more than to start this busy period with three points. Liverpool finally got their first win in five games over the weekend with a win over Stoke. Leicester are in terrible form, without a win in their last nine since they beat Manchester United. They did score their first goal in five matches against QPR, but they still lost 3-2. Both teams had poor months of November, but they will both be looking to start the busy month of December with three points.
Liverpool don’t have a huge amount of injuries, but they have some big players missing through injury. Star striker Daniel Sturridge is ruled out until to the new year and has proved to be a huge miss for Liverpool. Mario Balotelli is also struggling with a groin injury and will likely miss out. Jon Flannagen will also miss out while he recovers from knee surgery. Leicester will only be missing midfielder Dean Hammond.
The two sides have faced off 89 times with Liverpool winning 37, Leicester winning 33, and the two teams drawing 19 times. This is the first time the two have played each other since 2004 when they drew 0-0. Prior to Esteban Cambiasso’s goal in the fourth minute of the match vs QPR, Leicester had gone 504 minutes without a goal. This is the first time all season that Leicester have sat at the bottom of the table. Leicester have been draw specialists at home drawing four of their six home games. Liverpool have lost four of their six away games this season allowing 12 goals, tied for third most away goals conceded in the league.
The key for Liverpool to beat Leicester will be to break down Leicester when they sit deep and defend. Coutinho is the best man for that job. The Brazilian play maker has the ability to drift past opposing defenders. This forces other defenders to commit to Coutinho allowing him to break down defenses. The little Brazilian has completed a dribble every 25 minutes and has completed 57% of his dribbles. He will need to improve his final ball as he has had a poor chance creation rate this season of a chance created every 142 minutes. This shows that, while he has been able to dribble past defenders, the former Inter man has lacked the final ball. If he can improve his end product, he could make a huge difference for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Leicester City: Esteban Cambiasso
Another former Inter player is the key man for the Foxes. Esteban Cambiasso will be vital if Leicester are to succeed in the battle for the midfield with Liverpool. The signing of the Argentine was a huge coup for Leicester because of his huge reputation, ability , and experience. Cambiasso can help Leicester against Liverpool’s string midfield. The former Inter man has averaged three interceptions per 90 minutes, two clearances per 90 minutes, has completed 76% of his passes, and has not made a single defensive error all season. The experience of the Argentine could be vital for the foxes in this match.
Liverpool have been inconsistent and unpredictable this season. They have not been convincing all season and, without Daniel Sturridge, have no star goalscorers. That said, Leicester have really struggled and it is tough to see them winning this one. While I could see this finishing level, I’m going to go with a Liverpool win to make it two wins on the bounce for Liverpool.
Prediction: 2-1 Liverpool