Leicester City face Liverpool in their first game since the sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes lie in the relegation places in the Premier League following the weekend’s fixtures and will be anxious to record a positive result against Liverpool.
Leicester City tips and analysis
It’s been an emotional week in the East Midlands. Despite the fairy-tale of winning the Premier League with Leicester City last season, the owners of the club took the decision to remove Claudio Ranieri from his position as the Foxes’ struggles continue. It’s a decision that has split football supporters with many thinking the Italian should have been given more time considering his achievements the previous season.
Rumours of players forcing the decision abound and it will be interesting to see how they react in this game to the change in management. Long-time assistant boss Craig Shakespeare will take charge for the game, and his first job will be focusing his players to matters on the pitch.
Strikers Islam Slimani and Leonardo Ulloa will be assessed prior to the game with both having injuries that have kept them out for several weeks. Ulloa had fallen out with Ranieri, demanding a move away from the club in an effort to get more first team action and the dismissal of the Italian coach could mean a change in the player’s attitude. The Foxes need a reaction from their forwards as they are still without a Premier League goal In 2017, let alone a win.
Liverpool tips and analysis
Fifth-placed Liverpool have been in poor form of late with their win over Tottenham Hotspur being a welcome change to a run that saw them win one game in ten in all competitions. It was their first win in ten games and lifted some of the pressure that had been building on manager Jurgen Klopp. A win against the Foxes would push the Reds into third in the table and into the Champions League reckoning once more.
The Reds could be without Dejan Lovren and Daniel Sturridge for the trip to Leicester City. Sturridge has been struggling with a viral infection while Lovren has only recently returned to training after injury. Lovren is the bigger miss, having established his place in the team under Klopp and should the Croat not make it then Lucas Leiva will probably be moved back into the centre of defence.
Georginio Wijnaldium has picked up a calf injury but should be fit enough to play in the match against Leicester City.
Leicester City v Liverpool tips and analysis
The big question for me is how the Leicester City players react. They’ve been quick to deny any part played in the removal of Ranieri but I do think there will be an upturn in their performances as they look to prove themselves once more with a new manager to come in. Liverpool were poor prior to the Spurs game and with a 16 day break since then the question is if they have lost any momentum from that result.
The bookies have made Liverpool favourites and as much as I want to justify backing Leicester City I can’t; every time I’ve seen them play I thought that they have been a shadow of the team that took the league by storm last year. With this in mind I have to back Liverpool to win at 1.62 but I think it will be a fairly tight game.
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