Preview: Liverpool vs. Leicester City

Preview: Liverpool vs. Leicester City

Making a swift return to Premier League territory, Championship pace-setters Leicester City meet Liverpool at Anfield in Wednesday’s EFL Cup third-round affair.

While Jurgen Klopp’s men have not had to concern themselves with the competition just yet, the Foxes have already eliminated Burton Albion and Tranmere Rovers – winning 2-0 on both occasions – to book a trip to Merseyside.

Following successive 3-1 wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and LASK Linz in the Premier League and Europa League respectively, Liverpool triumphed by the same scoreline when West Ham United came to town, but unlike several times already this season, Klopp’s men did not have to come from behind to prevail.

The Irons did give their more esteemed opponents a scare when Jarrod Bowen bravely dived at the feet of Virgil van Dijk and found the inside of the far post with a header, by which point Mohamed Salah had already broken the deadlock from 12 yards, but Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota netted in front of the Kop in the second half.

With both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur dropping points in the North London derby, the red-hot Reds capitalised to rise up to second in the Premier League table – only two points behind Manchester City – and their recent endeavours offer hope of another tantalising title battle between the two Northern neighbours.

By sending David Moyes’s men home empty-handed, Liverpool extended their winning run across all tournaments to six matches – scoring at least two goals in each of those contests – while their unbeaten record in competitive fixtures stands at 18 games since a 4-1 Etihad embarrassment at the start of April.

The nine-time EFL Cup winners – who have got their hands on the trophy more than any other side in history – have also won each of their last four third-round ties in the competition, but the defence of their 2022 crown came to a premature end against Man City in the fourth round nine months ago.

Preview: Liverpool vs. Leicester – prediction, team news, lineups
Leicester’s penultimate Premier League home game in the 2022-23 season was a 3-0 beating at the hands of Liverpool, which came an unlucky 13 days before the Foxes were officially relegated from the top flight, making their magical 2015-16 title triumph appear a distant memory.

However, with Enzo Maresca barking orders from the touchline, Leicester have already assumed position at the front of the promotion-chasing pack, taking 21 points from 24 on offer in the 2023-24 Championship so far to cement their spot at the top of the standings.

Leicester were bested for the first time this season just before the international break – going down 1-0 at home to Hull City – but the fortnight’s recuperation worked wonders for the visitors, who have responded with three consecutive victories over Southampton, Norwich City and most recently Bristol City.

Jamie Vardy’s penalty proved decisive in the weekend’s 1-0 success against Bristol City, before the veteran striker proved that there is plenty of life left in his 36-year-old legs by channelling his inner Emmanuel Adebayor – running the full length of the field to celebrate in front of the Robins faithful.

Only newly-promoted Ipswich Town can also boast seven wins from their opening eight matches, but promotion dreams take a backseat for the time being as Leicester seek to avoid just a second EFL Cup third-round exit in the past seven seasons, but their hopes of glory in 2021-22 were extinguished in a penalty-shootout loss to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Leicester City EFL Cup form:

Leicester City form (all competitions):

We say: Liverpool 2-0 Leicester City
Should Leicester continue in the same vein, Premier League showdowns with Liverpool will be on their calendar for 2024-25, but for now, Klopp’s men can be expected to subject the Championship leaders to a rude awakening.

Multiple-goal showings have been commonplace for the in-form Reds over the past few weeks, and Liverpool should not have to clear too many hurdles to advance to the fourth round.

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