Top Two Collide in A Festive Cracker on Boxing Day in the Premier League
There is no doubt that if you were to name the two teams that have impressed the most in the Premier League this season heading into the festive period, then that would have to be Liverpool and Leicester City. While the Reds have just jetted back from their World Club Cup excursion to Dubai, the Foxes come into this game having had much less travel to endure than their visitors.
Given that Manchester City have slipped off the pace a little in recent times, this clash between the top two will likely be a defining moment of the Premier League season. A win for Leicester would put them right on Liverpool’s tails and turn up the pressure on the men from Anfield. A win for Liverpool however would see them extend their lead over Leicester and perhaps take a decisive lead in the race for the Premier League title, even at this early stage of the season.
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Let us now preview this game by taking a closer look at the two teams competing in the competition, before we bring you our big tips for the game which is the big highlight of the Boxing Day set of fixtures in the Premier League.
Leicester City v Liverpool Preview
- Games Played – 113
- Leicester City Wins – 39
- Draws – 25
- Liverpool Wins – 49
- Leicester’s last win over Liverpool in the Premier League was a 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium back in February 2017.
- Since October 2001, the teams have met 17 teams. There have been three draws between the teams, Leicester have won three of those games while Liverpool have been victorious in 12 of those matches.
- Liverpool have won six of the last nine matches between the teams.
- Last season, Liverpool won this fixture 2-1 in early September 2018. Leicester did land a 1-1 draw in Anfield the following February however.
- Earlier this season, a last minute penalty from James Milner saw Liverpool clinch a 2-1 victory over the Foxes at Anfield after Sadio Mane’s first half strike for Liverpool was cancelled out late on by James Maddison’s goal.
|Squad No||Leicester City||Squad No||Liverpool|
|1||Kasper Schmeichel||1||Alisson Becker|
|2||James Justin||2||Nathaniel Clyne|
|4||Caglar Soyuncu||4||Virgil van Dijk|
|5||Wes Morgan (Capt)||5||Georginhio Wijnaldum|
|6||Jonny Evans||6||Dejan Lovren|
|7||Demarai Gray||7||James Mliner|
|8||Youri Tielemans||8||Naby Keita|
|9||Jamie Vardy||9||Roberto Firmino|
|10||James Maddison||10||Sadio Mane|
|11||Marc Albrighton||11||Mohamed Salah|
|12||Danny Ward||12||Joe Gomez|
|15||Harvey Barnes||14||Jordan Henderson (Capt)|
|16||Filip Benkovic||15||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain|
|17||Ayoze Perez||20||Adam Lallana|
|18||Daniel Amartey||22||Andy Lonergan|
|20||Hamza Choudhury||23||Xherdan Shaqiri|
|21||Ricardo Pereira||24||Rhian Brewster|
|22||Matty James||26||Andy Robertson|
|24||Nampalys Mendy||27||Divock Origi|
|25||Wilfred Ndidi||32||Joel Matip|
|26||Dennis Praet||48||Curtis Jones|
|28||Christian Fuchs||62||Caoiminh Kelleher|
|35||Eldin Jakupovic||66||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Man||Brendan Rodgers||Man||Jurgen Klopp|
Key Men – Leicester
There have been a number of outstanding performances for the Foxes this season, Tielemans and Ndidi have formed a very effective partnership at the heart of midfield and provided a base from which James Maddison and Jamie Vardy in particular have thrived going forward, Vardy, at the time of writing the top scorer in the Premier League, is looking back to his best and very sharp at the moment and he has a good goalscoring record against the top six and Liverpool in particular. Many teams are also watching left back Ben Chilwell and right back Ricardo Pereira who have been key members of Leicester’s successes this season.
Key Men – Liverpool
There’s no doubt that Virgil van Dijk and the full backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are hugely important for Liverpool, van Dijk alongside Alisson, provides real stability at the back while the full backs foraging runs, and creativity, have created so many goals for Liverpool’s attacking players. The front three are renown across world football and are arguably the best attacking trio in the game when working together. Salah, Mane and Firmino have not quite hit the heights of pervious years as yet, but they are still hugely effective and between them are responsible for the vast majority of Liverpool goals. Fabinho will be a miss in midfield through injury, but Liverpool are well-stocked in that area of the team to cover for the Brazilian’s absence.
What are our tips and how do we see the game going?
The game at Anfield between these two teams was hotly contested and in truth, Liverpool wasted a number of chances with the game at 1-0, before Leicester equalised. James Milner’s late penalty was slightly controversial but probably the right decision and in the end, based on the game, the right team won on the day, although Leicester would have felt aggrieved they didn’t take something from the game,
This game has echoes of the game last season at the Etihad when if Liverpool had won, they would have opened up a huge lead over Man City. In the end, City snatched a 2-1 win and Liverpool’s lead slowly evaporated with City stealing the title by a point. Jurgen Klopp will no doubt be reiterating this point to his team.
There’s no doubt tired legs and the squads will need to be used over these games, but I think Klopp will have earmarked this game for his first choice team and I’d be surprised if either team came into the game with a few rotated players in, unless of course injuries struck.
For me, as good as Leicester have been, Liverpool have been better and while a Leicester win would make the title race more interesting, this Liverpool team knows how to win these crucial and difficult games and I feel they will do that here too, probably by a 2-1 scoreline.