Leicester City will entertain table-toppers Liverpool in the Boxing Day Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes were truly humbled by Manchester City in the recent league game at the Etihad Stadium, where they suffered a 3-1 defeat.
As a result, they were unable to close the 10-point gap to Jurgen Klopp’s side at the top of the table and have now played an extra game more, as the Reds were absent for the weekend’s action due to their FIFA Club World Cup exploits.
The previous meeting between the sides happened at Anfield earlier in October where the Reds registered a dramatic 2-1 win. Sadio Mane gave the hosts with a first-half lead but the Foxes made a comeback in the second half and seemed destined for the draw after James Maddison converted with their only shot on target in the 80th minute.
However, the European champions eventually came up with the three points in the dying seconds of the game through a penalty which resulted from Marc Albrighton’s foul on Sadio Mane in the box. James Milner successfully converted the spot-kick in the 95th minute.
Players to watch out for:
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City:
The former England international has stood out for the Foxes in the attacking department and he is presently the club’s and Premier League’s leading goalscorer with 17 goals from 18 matches.
Vardy has excelled with his ability to make timely runs behind the opposition defence but he has a tough test on his hands on Boxing Day due to the dominating presence of Virgil van Dijk in the opposition ranks.
As a result, he will need some assistance from his teammates and the likes of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans will be required to provide the striker with key passes through which he can benefit in the final third.
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool:
Firmino has not enjoyed a similar success to Sadio Mane (11 goals and six assists) and Mohamed Salah (13 goals and six assists) this season, but he has proved a vital figure in the frontline due to his ability to engage counter-attacks by dropping into a deeper attacking role.
The Brazilian striker has contributed six goals and four assists heading into the midway stage of the campaign but he should be brimming with confidence after his superb exploits for the Reds during the recent Club World Cup in Qatar.
The 28-year-old scored the winning goal in the semi-final against Monterrey in stoppage time and he replicated the feat in the final of the tournament where he bagged the solitary goal of the game in added extra-time against Flamengo. This should provide him with a boost ahead of the Foxes encounter.
Liverpool have had to contend with an extra game over the past week (ignoring the League Cup quarter-final) due to the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar and that will definitely add up to the fatigue because of travelling, in particular. Due to this, we are anticipating the Foxes to get something from the Boxing Day clash.
Leicester City 1-1 Liverpool