After a 16-day break to refresh and recharge, the Reds recommence the fight for Champions League football against the relegation-threatened title holders.
Liverpool’s blistering win over Tottenham now seems a long time ago, but Klopp’s team arrive rejuvenated after rediscovering blitzing form in yet another big-game success, which now must be followed with victory over struggling opponents.
Leicester pose a trickier test after the outrageous sacking of Claudio Ranieri, and the Reds will need to be on top form to claim maximum points at the King Power Stadium, where Klopp could name the same XI that blitzed Spurs at Anfield.
UPDATE: Jordan Henderson is ruled out of Monday’s match – full story here.
- Strong squad set to feature with refreshed Reds raring to go
- But Klopp frustratingly facing a few injury concerns
- Dejan Lovren and Daniel Sturridge major doubts due to knee injury and illness respectively
- But Georginio Wijnaldum in line to play after shaking off calf problem
- Rest of Reds squad to retain familiar look
- Klopp to stick as close as possible to the XI which breezed past Spurs
- Lucas Leiva poised to retain deputy role in Lovren’s absence
- But Ragnar Klavan also hopeful of recall
- Simon Mignolet to continue in goal with Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip and James Milner in defence
- Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana likely to form unchanged midfield
- Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino certain to lead lethal attack
Liverpool’s XI vs. the Foxes
Despite the break providing plenty of time for the squad to reach full availability, Klopp instead has a similar group at his disposal.
With Lovren likely to miss out having only just returned to training and no need for changes elsewhere in the team, the Reds boss could therefore name an unchanged XI from that which scorched Mauricio Pochettino’s side before the extended pause.
This would see Lucas, who was excellent in that 2-0 success, deservedly given the nod over Klavan to partner Matip at centre-back in an otherwise full-strength lineup in all other departments.
Being able to pick a consistent selection could be key to Liverpool hitting the ground running at the King Power Stadium, and the Reds would look like this:
There’s little option or need for Klopp to adjust his selection after such a fantastic display last time out, but he could make one change in defence.
While Lucas indeed was in top form against Spurs, grabbing his opportunity with both hands, the experienced Brazilian did only feature at Anfield due to Lovren being out and Klavan having only just returned.
But with Klavan now fully fit again, Klopp could restore the Estonian to the left centre-back role alongside Matip, going with two natural centre-backs rather than keeping Lucas who ultimately is a last-resort stand-in.
That single alteration in an otherwise unchanged side would see Liverpool start with this XI:
Struggling opponents have caused problems throughout the season, but the reenergised Reds must produce a full throttle display to ensure of no further slip-ups as they battle for a top-four spot.