Leicester City vs. Liverpool – 7:45pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at King Power Stadium
Leicester – $2.50 at Luxbet.com
Liverpool – $2.90 at William Hill
Draw – $3.30 at www.Bet365.com
Leicester – 1st
Liverpool – 7th
Leicester – D D W D W
Liverpool – W L D L W
Last five EPL meetings
Liverpool 1-0 Leicester
Liverpool 2-2 Leicester
Leicester 1-3 Liverpool
Leicester 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester
IT’S Leicester who have it all to lose as they prepare to host Liverpool in round 24 of English Premier League 2015-16.
The Foxes reclaimed top spot outright last week with a resounding 3-0 victory over Stoke City as Jamie Vardy, the league’s top scorer, found the back of the net for the first time since the turn of the year.
That most welcome result leaves the Midlanders three points clear of the competition after Arsenal and Manchester City both failed to win at the weekend.
It also means they are now five games undefeated, despite widespread predictions of an imminent collapse into mid-table obscurity.
But the Foxes are quite happy to play the underdogs, according to Austrian defender Christian Fuchs.
“We’ve broken this cycle of results so we’re all happy and it was an important three points against Stoke,” he told the local press this week.
“We’re solid and we believe in ourselves. We are a really good team on the field and you guys can keep waiting, we will try to keep winning.
“People writing us off isn’t a topic for us. We know there’s a lot of writing about us outside the club and the press can talk and assume things but we focus on our work and we do it well.”
How Leicester manage their next few fixtures could make or break their unexpected title challenge.
Tricky away dates at Arsenal and Man City loom on the horizon, but first up is a home game against Liverpool – one of only two teams to beat Claudio Ranieri’s men this season.
Indeed, it was the 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Boxing Day which halted Leicester’s momentum over the Christmas period.
That outcome should have put Liverpool back in the mix for Champions League qualification, but it’s been a rocky ride since then for Jurgen Klopp and company.
Last weekend’s stunning 5-4 win at Norwich City ended a run of three games without a victory, which included defeats to West Ham and Manchester United.
Only six points separate fifth from 11th, however, so the seventh-placed Reds remain well in the hunt for a European place.
They have a good recent record against Leicester, who haven’t beaten the giants of Merseyside in seven matches since 2001.
But the Liverpool squad’s resilience will be put the test this week, as Tuesday’s clash at King Power Stadium will be their third match in six days following back-to-back cup fixtures.
Leicester, meanwhile, will enjoy the luxury of a nine-day break, having already exited both the League Cup and the FA Cup.
Leicester City teams news
The Foxes could have a new striker on their books in time for Tuesday, if reports of their £10 million bid for Sampdoria’s Eder are to be believed.
They may also welcome back Jeff Schlupp, who is recovering well from a hamstring problem.
But there will be no fairytale return for Matty James just yet, with the midfielder suffering a minor setback on his way back from a ruptured ACL.
Possible Leicester XI: Schmeichel, Schlupp, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kante, Mahrez, Albrighton, Ulloa, Vardy.
Liverpool team news
Local lad Jon Flanagan impressed in Wednesday’s League Cup victory over Stoke City – his first start since May 2014.
He could find himself straight back on the bench, however, as regular right-back Nathaniel Clyne should be available after missing the Stoke clash with a knee knock.
Centre-half Dejan Lovren is also expected to be ready for the FA Cup date with West Ham this weekend, having missed several weeks with a hamstring injury.
Possible Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Firmino.
– Draw ($3.30 at Bet365)
– Over 2.5 goals ($2.10 at William Hill)
– Both teams to score ($1.83 at Bet365)
At the moment, these might be the two toughest teams to read in the EPL.
Leicester were supposed to have faded away by now, but last week’s win over Stoke showed all the quality and intent that got them to the top of the table.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have been all over the shop, jumping from hopelessly impotent displays to world-class goalfests on a week-to-week basis.
Klopp’s Reds have conceded too many goals on the road in recent times, leaking multiples at Newcastle (two), West Brom (two), Watford (three), West Ham (two) and Norwich (four).
You can expect something similar against the league leaders, who have kept four clean sheets in five matches since losing to Liverpool on December 26.
But Leicester’s modus operandi is to score goals, so it’s set up to be an open game with plenty of chances at both ends.
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