Liverpool can expect very different Leicester – with Pep’s old No. 2 in charge

Liverpool can host Leicester in the League Cup on Wednesday expecting a very different side to that they faced in the Premier League last season.

There was no banana skin when the Reds met Leicester at Anfield and the King Power last season, with a 2-1 home win followed by a 3-0 victory on the road.

By that point, Dean Smith’s side were teetering on the brink of relegation, which was then confirmed on the final day of the campaign.

Smith departed less than three weeks later, as Leicester prepared for a shock return to the Championship, with a new face brought in to replace him.

Enzo Maresca took over on the same day Smith’s exit was confirmed, leaving his position as assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at Man City.

Leicester also saw 13 senior players depart, including big-money sales of James Maddison to Tottenham and Harvey Barnes to Newcastle, while nine were brought in.

Among the new arrivals were ex-Liverpool youngster Conor Coady, England midfielder Harry Winks and winger Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, who was strongly linked with a move to Anfield before joining Sporting CP in 2022.

Maresca, who spent the first two months of his tenure living at Leicester‘s training ground to – as he told BBC East Midlands Today – “get the sensation,” has now overseen 10 games.

In those 10 games, Leicester have won nine and lost one, that being a 1-0 defeat to early promotion rivals Hull earlier in September.

Their record stands at 18 goals scored and five conceded, with five clean sheets.

Liverpool got a taste of the new Leicester when they faced Maresca’s side in pre-season, but their 4-0 victory in Singapore came against an unfamiliar side.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 28, 2021: Leicester City's Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. Leicester City won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Callum Doyle, the left-back on loan from Man City, has clocked the most minutes for the Foxes so far this season, with Winks and Wout Faes not far behind.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Jannik Vestergaard, Ricardo Pereira and Wilfred Ndidi remain at the core of the squad, but new faces include forward Stephy Mavididi, goalkeeper Mads Hermansen and winger Kasey McAteer.

McAteer is currently Leicester‘s top scorer, with four, while Ndidi and Jamie Vardy both have three and Dewsbury-Hall, Mavididi and Kelechi Iheanacho all have two.

Dewsbury-Hall is their leading source of goal contributions, with two goals and three assists.

Leicester‘s most recent outing resulted in a 1-0 win over Bristol City at the King Power, moving them to the top of the table through Vardy’s winner.

That day, Maresca fielded his usual 4-3-3 setup, though at times this season he has deployed a 3-4-3 – including in both previous rounds of the League Cup.

Possible Leicester XI: Stolarczyk; Justin, Doyle, Faes; Pereira, Ndidi, Winks, Mavididi; Dewsbury-Hall, Casadei; Vardy