Preview: Leicester City vs. Liverpool

Third hosts fourth in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime when high-flying Leicester City welcome champions Liverpool to the King Power Stadium.

Three points separate the two sides in the table after 23 games, and the visitors arrive at the King Power looking to bounce back from successive league defeats for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp had been warning for weeks that Liverpool’s main fight this season is for a top-four spot rather than for the title, even before last Sunday’s chastening 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City.

While a couple of costly and uncharacteristic Alisson Becker errors gave the scoreline a slightly skewed look, the facts are increasingly grim for a Liverpool side already a whopping 24 points off the pace they set last season.

The Reds were 19 points clear at the top after 23 games of 2019-20 but now find themselves 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester City having played a game more, not to mention five points behind second-placed Manchester United and three off Saturday’s hosts.

Liverpool’s superior goal difference over Leicester means that victory this weekend would lift them back up to third, but anything less than that would open the door to Chelsea, who are now just a point behind following their resurgence under Thomas Tuchel, to leapfrog the champions into the top four.

Some may even consider Leicester as slight favourites for this match given that Liverpool have won just two of their last nine league outings, including back-to-back defeats for the first time under Klopp.
Current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was in charge the last time Liverpool lost three Premier League games in a row, in November 2014, but in a stark turnaround in form it is at home where most of those recent troubles have come.

Away from Anfield, Liverpool are looking to win three consecutive top-flight games for the first time in a year, winning three and losing one of their last five compared to three defeats and no wins from their last five home league games.
Even so, nine teams have still picked up more points than Liverpool on the road this season, although Leicester’s home form has not been overly impressive either, with the Foxes faring much better on their travels.

Leicester have already lost more home games this season than they did throughout the whole of 2019-20, and another defeat on Saturday would see Rodgers suffer six home league defeats in a season for the first time in his managerial career.

Add to that the fact that former Liverpool managers have lost their last 12 Premier League reunions with the Reds stretching back to 2012, and that Leicester have lost 16 of their last 20 top-flight games against the reigning champions, and the omens perhaps look better for Liverpool than their recent form would suggest.
Indeed, the Foxes are currently enduring their worst-ever home losing run against Liverpool in the league – three straight defeats – and could suffer four in a row against a particular opponent for the first time since 2003.

Home and away Liverpool have won six of the last seven Premier League meetings, but Saturday’s showdown looks poised to be the most evenly-matched contest between the two sides in some time.

Leicester have suffered a minor slump in recent weeks with only one win in their last four league games, but they have also only lost one of their last 10, while only Man City have won more games over the course of the entire season so far.

A goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend edged the Foxes three points clear of their visitors on Saturday – a position Rodgers would have gleefully accepted had it been offered to him before the start of the season.

Even another Premier League title challenge is not yet out of the question for the 2015-16 champions, although the FA Cup may provide a more likely route to silverware after they secured their place in the quarter-finals with a last-gasp winner against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night.

Leicester City Premier League form: WWDLWD
Leicester City form (all competitions): WDLWDW

Liverpool Premier League form: DLWWLL
Liverpool form (all competitions): DLWWLL

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