Liverpool face one of their most difficult games of the season to date as they welcome Leicester City to Anfield. The Reds have won every game in the Premier League so far, but there will be concerns about how they will fare against former manager Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes. This will be the Leicester manager’s first return to his former club since he was replaced by Jurgen Klopp. The fact that his team are currently in the top four does add another layer of intrigue to the contest.
It has been a near perfect start for Liverpool as they have taken an early lead at the top of the table. They are currently five points clear of Manchester City, but it is too soon to consider the Reds as title favourites. However, it is very impressive that they have managed to pick up where they left off last season. The main area of concern for Klopp is the defence. They haven’t been at their best since the season started and they have kept only two clean sheets across all competitions. During the week, they conceded three goals to Salzburg, as their vulnerabilities were on show for all to see.
Leicester City were considered as a potential top four contender at the beginning of the season and their early form has backed that up. They have been excellent, with their thrashing of Newcastle United last weekend showing the quality that the squad possesses. It was even more impressive when you consider that James Maddison missed out through injury. This will be a good opportunity to test themselves against one of the best teams in Europe.
- Liverpool have won their first seven games of a league season for the first time in the Premier League era.
- Since Brendan Rodgers’ first game in charge, Jamie Vardy has scored more goals (17) than any other player in the Premier League.
Mohamed Salah is still the standout player for Liverpool and he continues to show an impressive consistency in attack. This season, the attacker has scored four goals and contributed three assists, which is a goal contribution every game. The Egyptian will feel that there is more to come from him as the months progress. However, the excellence of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane mean that there isn’t pressure on him. During the midweek game against Salzburg, the forward scored twice from three shots and created one chance. It was an eye-catching display, as he stepped up following his team conceded three goals to win the game. Leicester City will look to be positive at Anfield, which will leave space on the counter attack for the home team to exploit. It is likely to be a very open game and Salah could be the beneficiary.
The Leicester striker has been excellent at the beginning of the new season, as he continues to score goals. At the age of 32, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down and has maintained his quick burst of pace that makes him so dangerous. Vardy has already scored five goals this season and he has been reborn under the management of Rodgers. Last weekend, the striker was a constant threat with his movement in the final third. It became impossible to keep him at bay when Newcastle went down to ten men. During the match, he attempted four shots and got two goals. Liverpool will leave space down their flanks and the movement of Vardy in behind will cause real problems.
Alisson Becker is getting closer to a return, but Adrian is expected to remain in goal for the visit of Leicester. Joel Matip is a doubt, but he is likely to be passed fit to start. Xherdan Shaqiri remains out for the home side.
James Maddison is a huge doubt after missing the win over Newcastle and he may not be risked from the start. Ayoze Perez will be sweating for his place following a slow start to his Foxes’ career. Marc Albrighton could start in his place.
This is going to be a big test for Liverpool, as the pressure is on them at home against a very good team. The added edge provided by the return of Brendan Rodgers could come in to play as the former manager will be desperate to pick up a good result to maintain Leicester’s momentum. The problems that Liverpool’s defence have had means that there is hope for the visitors this weekend. The pace of Jamie Vardy could cause real problems. This could be the first time that the Reds drop