Liverpool head to Leicester on Saturday for a lunchtime kickoff in the Premier League, with Jurgen Klopp praising the opposition for being “smart enough” to improve.
The Reds visit one of the form sides of the English top flight this weekend, with only Chelsea, West Ham and Man City taking more points than Leicester in their last six games, and do so following a hiding from City at Anfield.
Klopp’s side, meanwhile, are 13th in the form table, albeit rising to fifth in terms of away games, with it a major challenge as they look to address their shaky situation.
It is not the ideal task, then, with Klopp using his press conference to praise the way in which Leicester responded to finishing out of the top four this season by not dropping out of it at any stage this campaign so far.
“Going through a situation like they had last year is for sure not helpful in that season,” the manager said.
“But for the next season for sure if you are smart enough to use this information, and Brendan and his players are for sure smart enough.
“So yes it is for sure helpful that they were in a similar situation.
“Probably slightly disappointing that they couldn’t make the Champions League last year, but it was always clear, as long as they don’t lose players, and they can add on, [they could do it].
“And they did good business again, to be honest. They brought in really good players; full-back, centre-half, all these kinds of things.
“Up front, Albrighton looks like he doesn’t get older, Vardy the same.
“Barnes is probably one of the biggest talents – not sure if he already is as much respected or appreciated as he should be. He’s an unbelievable player, and a proper Leicester product.
“Midfield, Tielemans, all these guys. It’s just a really good setup, and that’s what makes them so strong.”
Jamie Vardy is a particular threat for Leicester, with only one player in the club’s history scoring more against Liverpool than the striker’s seven in 12 games.
And Klopp may call upon a debutant to face off against the former England international, with injury to Fabinho expected to hand Ozan Kabak the opportunity to make his Reds bow.
“Jamie’s obviously a proper challenge in this league. The way he plays, the way he gets set up by his mates. That’s a proper job to do,” Klopp said.
“But we can only do it, always, with the whole team. That’s how we always tried to do it. We have to avoid the passes to him.
“Jamie is a world-class player for sure in this specific area of the pitch, with his speed, that’s really tricky.
“With [Kabak and Davies], obviously we now had some sessions together where we could really work on this defensive setup, and that’s very, very important.”