One is fighting to get out of the bottom three while the other seeks to close on the top four. It’s our Leicester City vs Liverpool prediction and preview.
Leicester City vs Liverpool: Quick Hits
- Leicester City have won just three Premier League games out of 20 since the World Cup.
- Liverpool are looking for their seventh victory in a row.
- Opta’s supercomputer gives Jürgen Klopp’s men a 49.4% chance of taking three points from the King Power Stadium on Monday.
The last time Dean Smith managed a team that played host to Liverpool in October 2020, they won 7-2 in what remains Jürgen Klopp’s joint-heaviest Premier League defeat, along with a 5-0 loss to Manchester City in September 2017. It may be unreasonable to ask Smith to do the same here, but Leicester City could certainly do with something along those lines.
The Foxes are in the mire after their 5-3 defeat at Fulham last time out, sitting in the relegation zone with just three games remaining. Leeds United and Nottingham Forest secured a point each on Saturday to add a bit more pressure, though Everton suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. The Opta supercomputer gives Leicester just a 26.6% chance of staying up, and with a trip to Newcastle United and a final-day hosting of West Ham United to come, Smith could do with remembering how to beat the Reds.
Much like the 2020-21 campaign when they suffered that humbling at Aston Villa, Liverpool have struggled this season, but are making a late charge for the Champions League spots to salvage something. Klopp’s side are aiming for a seventh win in a row, having not previously won as many since a run of nine across January and February 2022.
Leicester will take heart from the fact they have won their last two Premier League home games against Liverpool. Having said that, they have only kept one clean sheet in their last 13 league meetings with the Reds (1-0 in December 2021), conceding an average of 2.1 goals-per-game in that time (27 goals against overall).
Liverpool have a good record against the Foxes, winning eight of their last 11 Premier League games against them (D1 L2), more than they had in their previous 19 (W7 D5 L7).
Newcastle dropping two points at Leeds was a bonus for the Reds’ top-four hopes, though Manchester United got one of the three wins they need to secure Champions League football against Wolverhampton Wanderers. While any three points will do for Liverpool as they look to keep pressure on both, their last five Premier League games have seen them win by exactly one goal. There have been just five occasions in the English top-flight of a team winning six straight matches by a single goal: Aston Villa in November 1910, Chelsea in February 1966, Southampton in April 1992, Newcastle in October 1996, and Everton in November 2002.
Jamie Vardy has not had the best of seasons, scoring just three league goals in 34 appearances (17 starts) but he has hit eight against Liverpool in the Premier League in previous seasons, with only Andrew Cole (11) and Harry Kane (nine) recording more against the Reds in the competition. Six of Vardy’s goals have come in clashes at the King Power Stadium.
In terms of team news, Leicester will still be without Kelechi Iheanacho (groin), James Justin and Jannik Vestergaard (both calf), though Ricardo Pereira is back in training after a hamstring issue.
Liverpool trio Thiago Alcantara (hip), Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (adductor) are out for the season, while Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino (both muscular) were also ruled out of this one by Klopp on Friday. The latter is back in training so could feature in the final home game of the season against Aston Villa, which will be Firmino’s last chance to play at Anfield before he departs at the end of his contract.
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City: 30 December 2022 (Premier League)
It was an evening that Wout Faes would probably rather forget, so hopefully the Leicester defender isn’t reading this.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall gave the visitors the lead at Anfield in just the fourth minute after taking advantage of a big gap in the Liverpool defence. It was the seventh Premier League goal Liverpool had conceded in the opening five minutes of a game in 2022, three more than any other side, and the joint most of any team in a single year of the competition, along with Sunderland in 2000 and Blackburn Rovers in 2009.
However, in the 38th minute, a whipped ball in from Trent Alexander-Arnold was sliced up in the air by Faes, dropping in at the far post as a helpless Danny Ward looked on.
Seven minutes later, Darwin Núñez raced through and clipped the ball over the onrushing Ward. The Uruguayan’s shot came back off the post and Faes inadvertently turned it into his own net, again.
Faes became just the fourth player to record two own goals in a single Premier League game, after Jamie Carragher (1999, Liverpool vs Man Utd), Michael Proctor (2003, Sunderland vs Charlton) and Jonathan Walters (2013, Stoke vs Chelsea), with his accidental brace handing the Reds all three points.
It has not been a good second half to the season for Leicester, who have only won three Premier League games since the World Cup, drawing four and losing an eye-watering 13.
They can perhaps take solace from the fact that one of those wins came recently against Wolves, which ended a run of nine without victory that included eight defeats. Draws against relegation rivals Leeds and Everton did little to help their cause, before a 5-3 reverse at Fulham that, if anything, flattered the visitors.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are flying for the first time in a long time. Their season looked over when they followed up their 7-0 win over Manchester United by losing at Bournemouth and Manchester City, before draws against Chelsea and Arsenal.
However, six wins have seen them race up on United and Newcastle, though they may have left it too late to sneak past them into the Champions League spots.
Leicester City: James Maddison
You have to give James Maddison credit. When Leicester put in a poor performance, he is often one of the first to publicly front up to it. Unfortunately, it is starting to become something of a weekly tradition with his team’s form of late.
After surprisingly making it into England’s World Cup squad, Maddison did not feature in Qatar and came back to a Leicester side that was about to slide down the table. However, he has led the way in terms of attacking sequence involvements for his team this season, with no-one managing more than his 128 overall, or 5.1 per 90 (from a min. 1,170 minutes).
Maddison has also linked up well with Harvey Barnes, who recently returned from injury. He has assisted four of Barnes’ open-play goals in the Premier League this season, with the only players who have assisted more open-play goals for a team-mate in the competition in 2022-23 being Kevin De Bruyne (seven for Erling Haaland), Bruno Fernandes (six for Marcus Rashford) and Bukayo Saka (five for Gabriel Martinelli).
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah
In a largely forgettable season for his team, Mohamed Salah has almost stealthily emerged as one of the top performers in the Premier League once again.
Salah has scored 19 league goals, meaning he is now one away from making it five out of six seasons at Liverpool where he will have reached 20+ league goals. The Egyptian could become the first player to hit 20+ league goals in three consecutive seasons for the Reds since Roger Hunt (five in a row from 1961-62 to 1965-66).
That would simply be the latest Salah landmark, who went level with Steven Gerrard in the club scoring records on 186 against Brentford last week, as well as becoming the first player in Liverpool’s history to score in nine consecutive home appearances in all competitions. He achieved that with his goal against the Bees, which was also his 100th goal at Anfield.
Leicester City vs Liverpool Prediction
Leicester need points and they need them now. Opta’s supercomputer is not overly enthusiastic about the chances of taking all three on Monday though, giving them a 24.4% likelihood, but they are handed a slightly better than 50/50 chance of taking something at least. The draw is rated at 26.2%, meaning we put Leicester’s chances of avoiding defeat at 50.6%.
That leaves Klopp’s men with a 49.4% chance of victory, which will be needed if they are to maintain that pressure on the rivals above as they try to claim an unlikely Champions League spot at the death.