The Reds are on a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions currently, including a two-game winning run in the Premier League. They beat Crystal Palace 3-1 in their last league outing before the mid-season break and will be desperate to cut the deficit with Man City to nine points.
Leicester City, on the other hand, have endured a poor campaign according to the standards set in recent years and lie 12th in the table. They will be itching to produce a big response at Anfield after being eliminated from the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest last week.
Liverpool vs Leicester City—Team News
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Sadio Mane will not be available to face Leicester following Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Jordan Henderson is doubtful due to a back problem, but January signing Luiz Diaz is fine despite taking a blow to his knee against Cardiff City in the FA Cup.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah is also available after returning to training earlier this week following Egypt’s disappointing loss in the AFCON finals against Senegal.
There is no looking past Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal, with a back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Andrew Robertson expected to start.
Fabinho is a certain starter in midfield due to his ability to protect the defence, whilst dictating the tempo of the game. Naby Keita will retain his place in the middle of the park from the FA Cup victory over Cardiff City at the weekend. Jordan Henderson’s back problem could open the door for Thiago Alcantara to start and complete the Reds’ midfield trio.
Up front, Diogo Jota has been one of Liverpool’s best players this season and should start on the left flank. Mohamed Salah should walk into the starting XI, with Roberto Firmino tasked to lead the Reds’ attack against Leicester City.
Leicester City will be without Jamie Vardy (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (fibula), Timothy Castagne (thigh), Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Ryan Bertrand (knee) for the trip to Anfield.
The Foxes were, however, handed a timely injury boost with the return of Ricardo Pereira for their shock FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest last weekend, with the Portuguese wing-back recovering from a leg injury.
Having shipped goals at an alarming rate this season, including during the harrowing 4-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers might opt to revert to a three-man defensive system in the hope of keeping things tight.
Kasper Schmeichel has been a regular in goal for the Foxes and that won’t change on Thursday. In front of the Dane, Rodgers could go with Jannik Vestergaard, Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey in the three-man backline.
Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi are the likeliest candidates to marshal Leicester’s central midfield, with James Justin and Luke Thomas playing as wing-backs. James Maddison brings invention and guile to the Foxes’ side, making his selection in the starting XI a no-brainer.
Up top, with Jamie Vardy out, Rodgers may prefer to go with the strike partnership of Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho to make penetrative runs in behind the Liverpool defence that tends to maintain a high line.
Liverpool vs Leicester City—Predicted Lineups
Liverpool Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota
Leicester City Predicted Lineup (3-4-1-2): Kasper Schmeichel; Jannik Vestergaard, Caglar Soyuncu; Daniel Amartey; James Justin, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, Luke Thomas; James Maddison; Kelechi Iheanacho, Patson Daka
Liverpool vs Leicester City—Key Players
There is no denying how good Diogo Jota has been this season and the way he fits in like a glove in Klopp’s system at Liverpool. The Portuguese has been one of the club’s best players this season, chipping in with 15 goals and three assists so far. While Mohamed Salah has been head and shoulders above everyone, Jota could once again play a key role in helping the Reds claim all three points.
Leicester City—James Maddison
With the ability to create things out of nothing, James Maddison will once again look to provide the creative spark that Leicester City have at times missed this season. The England international can do almost everything for a midfield player, making him a key weapon for the Foxes that Liverpool must aim to contain at Anfield.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Leicester City