Having made a double move on Deadline Day to strengthen Liverpool’s backline, you would have been right to feel surprised when Jurgen Klopp elected not to play either Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies against Manchester City.
The end result was City sweeping the Premier League champions away 4-1, mainly down to goalkeeper Alisson having an evening to forget – two poor passes leading directly to goals and Phil Foden’s strike making Alisson seemingly shrink.
Klopp elected to start with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at the heart of his defence against Pep Guardiola’s side. You cannot blame either for Liverpool’s performance but given that Klopp had other defenders he could have selected you have to think about the knock-on effect on the side’s midfield.
As has been said over and over – it’s not just that Liverpool don’t have their best central defenders available, they currently don’t have their best two central midfielders available either because they are playing at the back. That’s four key players not in the right place on Liverpool’s team-sheet – and not many teams can maintain such high-standards in that situation.
Heading into the lunchtime clash with Leicester, Liverpool are still slight favourites to win according to the experts at crazyvegas casino en ligne. Their odds have improved slightly following Klopp’s press conference where he suggested that one of Kabak and Davies might get a start.
Leicester, their training kit currently sponsored by one of the top real money casinos, will still fancy their chances immensely. They are in a good run of form and have not suffered too much in the absence of their talisman Jamie Vardy, who is back in the squad once more.
Vardy will be itching to start, especially given the pressure that could be on the shoulders of whichever new signing starts in Liverpool’s defence. Equally, Vardy would certainly be fancying it against whichever midfielder is partnering the new signing.
But, it is not just Vardy that will pose problems for Liverpool.
Harvey Barnes is playing exceptionally well at the moment and is both a creative threat and a goal threat – therefore a double threat Liverpool need to be aware of.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold suffering a drop in form, partly down to the instability of Liverpool’s backline, Leicester and Barnes will target this area of the field.
James Maddison is currently in the best form of his career and with Thiago expected to be playing at the base of Liverpool’s midfield, Maddison will hope to win that personal battle.
Thiago is another who has struggled for Liverpool recently, completely due to the fact he has joined a team where the midfield is not settled in it’s usual way.
With Maddison’s movement and intelligence, and the fact that Leicester have a clear way of playing in attack, you can see the Foxes creating many chances.
This match is the first of the Premier League weekend, so expect it to be an entertaining battle.