Liverpool take on Leicester City in the ‘final’ of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong on Saturday, looking to end their week in Hong Kong in style.
Liverpool vs. Leicester City
Saturday, July 22, 2017 – 1.30pm (BST)
Hong Kong Stadium
Premier League Asia Trophy
Having sealed a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday courtesy of goals from Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi, the Reds will take on the Foxes to fight for pre-season silverware.
Despite Dejan Lovren lifting the Shankly Trophy last season, and Jordan Henderson lifting the True Super Trophy in 2015, this is far from a priority objective for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
Another solid performance against Craig Shakespeare’s will instead be the focus for the German, after three impressive displays so far this pre-season.
Their fourth outing of the summer, Liverpool can hope to find more fluency at the Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday, against more testing opposition in the former Premier League champions.
Who is Available For Liverpool?
Nathaniel Clyne is Klopp’s only absentee, with the right-back ruled out with a muscle injury that should keep him sidelined until Liverpool’s tour of Germany.
Simon Mignolet played the full 90 vs. Palace so expect Loris Karius to get the nod for this one.
Goalkeepers: Mignolet, Karius, Ward
Defenders: Matip, Lovren, Klavan, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, Moreno, Flanagan
Midfielders: Henderson, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Grujic, Woodburn
Forwards: Firmino, Salah, Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi, Solanke, Kent
The Leicester hierarchy made a bold decision in sticking with Shakespeare this summer, with the 53-year-old—who has no previous managerial experience—signing a three-year contract in June.
So far in the Foxes’ dugout, the Englishman has looked to go back to basics, utilising the same mould as Claudio Ranieri in the triumphant 2015/16 campaign, bizarrely cast aside at the start of last season.
And over the summer, Leicester have been busy, signing Harry Maguire, Vicente Iborra and Eldin Jakupovic, with Ron-Robert Zieler, Marcin Wasilewski and Bartosz Kapustka (loan) all departing.
There remain question marks over the future of Riyad Mahrez, with AS Roma earmarking the Algerian as their replacement for Mohamed Salah, who is now Liverpool’s No. 11.
Leicester rejected the Serie A side’s first bid for Mahrez on Friday, with Shakespeare revealing it was a “low offer.”
Mahrez can be expected to be part of Shakespeare’s squad on Saturday, having scored against West Brom on Wednesday, with his manager likely to field most of his heavy-hitters.
Last Time vs. the Foxes
Leicester City 3-1 Liverpool – Premier League – February 27, 2017
Shakespeare’s initial, interim reign at the King Power Stadium began with a home clash against the Reds, with Leicester looking to push away from the relegation zone.
Within an hour, a stripped-back Foxes side blitzed Klopp’s Liverpool, with Jamie Vardy scoring twice and Danny Drinkwater adding another, with the visitors clearly demoralised.
Philippe Coutinho struck a consolation goal with 22 minutes left to play, but it was too little, too late as the Reds’ title hopes continued to slip from their grasp.
It was Liverpool’s fifth loss in their last seven games in all competitions, and a crippling blow to their Premier League ambitions.
“We should get criticised,” Klopp said after the game. “This inconsistency makes absolutely no sense.”
That day saw Lucas Leiva struggle as a makeshift centre-back, but the Brazilian has now left the Reds, joining Lazio in a £5 million deal on Tuesday.
Is the Game on TV?
As with Wednesday’s win over Palace, Liverpool’s clash with Leicester will be shown live on Sky Sports 1, immediately following the Eagles’ third-place play-off against West Brom.
Coverage is scheduled to begin at 1pm (BST), with kickoff set for around 1.30pm.
Once again, This is Anfield will provide updates throughout the afternoon, with Henry Jackson manning the live blog to bring you an in-depth view of Liverpool in the Far East.