Liverpool host Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, in what has the potential to be another thrilling Anfield occasion.
Liverpool vs. Leicester
Saturday, October 5, 2019 – 3pm (BST)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
The Reds seemed to sit in a time machine and return to 2017 on Wednesday night, on a balmy Champions League night on Merseyside.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men blew a 3-0 lead at home to Salzburg, but their winning mentality shone through and Mohamed Salah eventually earned his side all three points.
The performance was majestic in the first half but defensively inept for periods after the break – improvements are required this weekend.
Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield for the first time since his sacking four years ago, bringing with him a talented Leicester outfit.
The Foxes sit third in the Premier League table on merit, playing some attractive football and looking more balanced than the likes of Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Rodgers is not likely to alter his style on Saturday, taking the game to Liverpool in the manner that Salzburg did in midweek.
That should make for an intriguing encounter, with both defences tested and the Reds hopefully thriving against an attack-minded team.
A few cracks have appeared in the last two games – Liverpool struggled away to Sheffield United – so it would be nice to see a more rounded display against Leicester.
Yet another win would be huge, putting pressure on Man City ahead of their home clash with Wolves on Sunday and leaving Liverpool nicely placed ahead of the international break.
Alisson continues to edge closer to a return, with Klopp even hinting that he could potentially play a part on Saturday.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Joel Matip are both unavailable however, but the duo will be back for the trip to Man United on October 20.
That means Joe Gomez will continue to deputise, even though Dejan Lovren is also fit.
Naby Keita is pushing for his first start of the season, particularly after both Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum failed to cover themselves in glory on Wednesday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also hungry for playing time and he would be an exciting option to bring in.
Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino should all start, hopefully finding the same form that saw them score three goals and register as many assists in midweek.
Rodgers has no new injury concerns ahead of the game, meaning he could field the same team that thumped Newcastle 5-0 at the King Power Stadium last weekend.
James Maddison is fit again after recovering from an ankle injury, though, so he will come back into the side.
Last 5 at Home to Leicester
Drew 1-1 – January 2019 (Mane; Maguire)
Won 2-1 – December 2017 (Salah x2; Vardy)
Won 4-1 – September 2016 (Firmino x2, Mane, Lallana; Vardy)
Won 1-0 – December 2015 (Benteke)
Drew 2-2 – January 2015 (Gerrard pens x2; Nugent, Schlupp)
Did You Know?
This will be just the third time Rodgers has come up against Liverpool as a manager, having taken charge of the Reds between 2012 and 2015.
The Ulsterman is still undefeated against the Reds, also not conceding in the two matches to date.
Rodgers’ first meeting with Liverpool came with Swansea in 2011/12, when his side drew 0-0 at Anfield, before winning 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium on the final day of the season.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 4-3 vs. Salzburg
Won 1-0 vs. Sheffield United
Won 2-0 vs. MK Dons
Won 2-1 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-0 vs. Napoli
Leicester – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 5-0 vs. Newcastle
Won 4-0 vs. Luton
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Lost 1-0 vs. Man United
Won 3-1 vs. Bournemouth
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp defended Gomez after some criticism in midweek:
“It would really not be fair to make Joe responsible in any kind for the goals we conceded in the game, because that was not the case.
“That players who didn’t play together for a while need a bit of time to get used to each other again, that’s completely normal.
“But in the first half an hour nobody could see any issues between the two boys, we were just exceptional.
“Then what made this game especially difficult was how Salzburg defended, each ball they wanted, all the balls were directly in behind the line, the runs they do are really good.
“And in these situations Joe did outstandingly well—because of his speed, because of the challenges he had.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Leicester is a rare Saturday 3pm (BST) kickoff for the Reds, meaning it isn’t live on UK television.
The best way to keep tabs on proceedings is to follow This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, with Chris Williams keeping you company from 2.15pm.