Liverpool can displace Leicester from the top of the table when they meet on Sunday evening as the Premier League returns following the final international break of 2020.
Liverpool vs. Leicester
Sunday, November 22, 2020 – 7.15pm (GMT)
Premier League (9)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
It’s been nothing short of a wild month for Liverpool as they continue to be hit by injuries and COVID-19, and Leicester’s visit is the first of 11 games to come before the end of the calendar year.
It is a period of time they will navigate without Joe Gomez, who was the latest to succumb to a serious injury while on international duty – no doubt leaving Jurgen Klopp pulling his hair out as the Reds continue to see their centre-back ranks dwindle.
While only eight games into the Premier League campaign, Liverpool have already suffered enough blows for an entire season but their powers of perseverance did see them avoid defeat in their last seven games, winning five.
It sets up a tantalising clash with Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester, who sat at the top of the table ahead of the weekend – one point ahead of the Reds – after a run of three wins on the spin before the November break.
Recent meetings between the two sides have not been short of entertainment or goals with a combined 33 scored in their last 10 fixtures.
It will prove another test of Liverpool’s mettle as they contend with injuries and illness, but if they emerge unscathed they will write their name in club history once more as avoiding defeat will see a new record of 64 league games unbeaten at Anfield set.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Gomez was the latest to be added to the long-term injury list when tearing his patella tendon while with England.
The 23-year-old underwent successful surgery post-haste and is to miss a significant portion of the season, leaving Liverpool with just one fit senior centre-back in Joel Matip.
After being besieged by injury himself while with the Reds, Matip will be relied upon like never before and will see Fabinho as his likely first-choice partner following his return from a hamstring injury.
Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, was another cast into doubt after his early withdrawal from the England squad with tightness, with Klopp ruling the captain out in his pre-match press conference.
There was good news for Andy Robertson after the Scot recovered from a hamstring complaint to lead his team against Israel in midweek, but after a demanding schedule he could sit this one out with Kostas Tsimikas waiting in the wings.
And Thiago, who has not featured since the Merseyside derby with a knee injury, remains central in the thoughts of many, but the boss insisted he “will not rush” him back.
Possible Leicester XI: Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Fuchs; Castagne, Tielemans, Mendy, Justin; Maddison, Barnes; Vardy
Last 5 at Home to Leicester (All Competitions)
Won 2-1 – October 2019 (Mane, Milner pen; Maddison)
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)
Did You Know?
It hasn’t been the smoothest year for Roberto Firmino, with the Brazilian struggling to find form and rhythm on a consistent basis.
He has scored just five goals in the entire calendar year but after another spell with Brazil which saw him strike, he could look to spring back to life against a side who he has inflicted a lot of pain on.
Firmino currently has five goals to his name against the Foxes and another on Sunday would see him move ahead of Robbie Fowler as the Reds’ most prolific player against Leicester in the Premier League.
It is a record currently shared between the pair and a goal would do wonders for his confidence and help Liverpool on their way to notching the unbeaten record at Anfield.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Leicester – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 1-0 vs. Wolves
Won 4-0 vs. Braga
Won 4-1 vs. Leeds
Won 2-1 vs. AEK Athens
Won 1-0 vs. Arsenal
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp insisted Leicester are “contenders for everything”:
“Leicester not only showed last year how good they can be, [but] this year again.
“They changed their style slightly maybe because of the injuries they had. Good example of how you can deal with an ‘injury crisis’.
“Did really well, are in a good moment, have a clear idea how they want to play.
“It’s a tough one and, of course, they are contenders for everything. They were last year for a long, long period and this year they are more experienced in situations.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Leicester will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Events and Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starting at 7pm (GMT) ahead of the 7.15pm kickoff.
Chris Williams has you covered on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you entertained with his usual biased take, starting from 6.30pm (GMT).