Liverpool v Leicester: Reds can tip goals balance in their favour

Andrew Atherley says the hosts can win the League Cup quarter-final at Anfield...

Liverpool set to field youngsters

The Covid crisis continues to cast a long shadow as the football authorities try to press on with the festive programme.

Liverpool are believed to have been among a group of clubs who pushed for the postponement of the next round of Premier League fixtures and manager Jurgen Klopp's words about the busy festive schedule give a strong indication of his plans for this match.

"It's impossible, we don't have the players," Klopp said in relation to the coming games. "We have to think we will get an extra case or two. We cannot just push it all through."

Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara are reported to have tested positive for coronavirus.

Jordan Henderson is ruled out owing to a non-Covid illness and Andrew Robertson is suspended after his red card at Tottenham on Sunday.

The Premier League will be the priority, with Liverpool lying second, and Klopp looks sure to put out several youngsters here.

Neco Williams, Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher are potential starters.

Leicester hit hard by Covid

Leicester's last two Premier League matches, against Tottenham and Everton, have been postponed following a number of positive Covid tests at the club, which led to the 'circuit breaker' closure of their training centre for 48 hours.

When the outbreak first emerged before the Europa League tie at Napoli on December 9, Leicester did not take Ademola Lookman, Daniel Amartey, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jannik Vestergaard, Ayoze Perez, Filip Benkovic and Vontae Daley-Campbell to Italy.

It is reported that the first group of players who tested positive have returned to training, but there are still considerable problems for manager Brendan Rodgers.

Defenders Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu are out, which could mean Wilfred Ndidi drops back to partner Amartey at the heart of a back four.

Boubakary Soumare could slot into midfield alongside Youri Tielemans, while Patson Daka looks set to lead the attack.

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes could add attacking weight given the lack of options for Rodgers.

Reds have deeper pool of talent

Squad rotation always makes these cup games difficult to evaluate, and this week's fixtures are even trickier given the disruption caused by Covid.

A Liverpool side without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane is a less fearsome proposition, and Van Dijk's absence makes them less secure at the back, but their squad has a deeper pool of talent than Leicester's and their status as strong favourites at 1.78 is hard to dispute.

Their reliability at short odds in these circumstances is open to question, however, given they are winless in their last four home League Cup games (two draws and two defeats).

Liverpool under Klopp have a W5 D1 L0 record at home to Leicester (all in the Premier League).

Amid the initial wave of Covid infections, Leicester lost 3-2 at Napoli in the Europa League but then hit back with a 4-0 home win over Newcastle in the Premier League on December 12, which was their most recent match.

The Foxes have been inconsistent this season and have struggled when faced with high-level opponents, losing five out of seven in the Premier League against current top-half teams.

In addition they are winless in their last 10 League Cup games against fellow Premier League sides, although eight were draws and they went through on penalties in five of them. One of those was the penalty shootout success over Brighton after a 2-2 draw in the last round.

Leicester's away record this season is patchy, but one notable aspect is that they have scored on 11 of their 12 trips in all competitions, which gives them a chance of an upset here.

The Covid effects on Leicester are difficult to ignore, however, and it seems logical to expect Liverpool to come through.

Foxes bring goals on the road

Liverpool's goal threat is reduced without Salah and Mane but Klopp gives them a set way of playing and they have scored in every match this season, including the two League Cup wins (3-0 at Norwich and 2-0 at Preston) where the big two did not play.

Leicester's good scoring record on the road has resulted in over 2.5 goals in nine of their 12 away games in all competitions and that looks a good shout here.

Over 2.5 goals is available at 1.65.

Both teams to score has occurred in 10 of Leicester's 12 away games and that option is priced at 1.68.

Weighing up all the factors, a Liverpool win with over 2.5 goals at 2.5 is the pick.

Opta Stat

Leicester are winless in their last 10 away games against Liverpool in all competitions (D2 L8), after winning three in a row at Anfield between 1997 and 2000 before this. Leicester are 5.1 to win this time.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment