EPL: Leicester City v Liverpool Preview


Our EPL writer previews the Monday night clash between Leicester and Liverpool. 

This game is a strange beast in that it encapsulates both the rampant unpredictability and unerring consistency that makes football so wonderful. Take Leicester.  A year ago they were fighting for a Premier League title and this fixture served up that memorable Jamie Vardy volley. Now they are languishing in a slightly humiliating relegation battle.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are pretty much in the same place they were last year, desperately duking it out for European places. Some fans have bemoaned the lack of progression of Jurgen Klopp, but few can deny the stylistic effect that the passionate German has had on the side. This is a vital game for two sides that have disappointed their fans this season to varying degrees.

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English Premier League | Monday 27 February | King Power Stadium | 22:00

To Win (90 Mins) 
Leicester City 9/2 | Draw 3/1 | Liverpool 11/20

Leicester City
Leicester were absolutely outclassed by Sevilla in midweek, highlighting some of the major shortcomings of the self-proclaimed best league in the world. How on earth did that team - that could barely keep the ball for three consecutive passes - win the league last year.

The Spanish media rightfully scoffs at the Premier League’s hyperbolic assertions. Vardy’s late goal gave them a glimmer of hope in the tie and may prove a catalyst for some form of rearguard action.

They will likely welcome Islam Slimani back into the fray this week, which will prove handy against a Liverpool side that has shown a soft underbelly to the physical stuff of late. Molla Wague's injury has come at a bad time for the Foxes.

They could have done with his added strength and athleticism in the heart of defence. He was brought in to revitalise a defensive unit that is starting to look fractured. I expect Riyad Mahrez to benefit from Milner’s unfamiliarity with that left-back role, confusing the Englishman with his ability to cut in or go wide.

Liverpool’s major injury concern will be that of Dejan Lovren. The Croatian international has gone to Germany to have a scan on his knee and is widely expected to miss out this Monday night. Lucas is also doubtful, meaning that Joel Matip will likely be partnered by Ragnar Klavan.

The entire situation just amplifies the fact that Liverpool have failed to really put out a consistent central defensive pairing this entire season. Adam Lallana has signed a new contract extension, which will delight fans of his unique brand of avant-garde trickery.

Liverpool will feel extremely confident that the front trio of Philippe Coutinho, Firmino and Sadio Mane could expose the Foxes this weekend. The pace of Mane in particular, could spell all sorts of trouble for the somewhat beleaguered partnership of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan.

All in all, Liverpool are by far the better side. However, there is this weird voice in my head that is telling me that Liverpool could be the one top team in the Premier League that may still fall into Leicester’s trap. Their gung-ho attacking formula could leave them vulnerable to Leicester’s counter-attacking style in a way that other teams are not.

Verdict:  Leicester City Win/Draw Double Chance (5/4) 
Not only is there decent value in the Leicester City Win/Draw Double Chance but I really think that it could be on the cards. Liverpool have shown a painful propensity for leaving themselves exposed at the back.

The Reds will create plenty going forward but expect the pace of Vardy and physicality of Slimani to keep Leicester in it. I really have a feeling that the Foxes could pull off a Monday night miracle here. 

Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets.net!

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