Leicester City vs Liverpool Prediction, Money Line & Picks

Leicester City vs Liverpool

  • Liverpool have dropped out of the Premier League title race in recent weeks
  • Leicester are also unlikely to challenge Manchester City for the crown
  • Both teams are now targeting Champions League qualification this season

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Leicester City vs Liverpool Pick and Predictions

Leicester are an excellent team but the Reds have superior attacking quality and that could prove to be the difference at the King Power Stadium.

Pick:

Leicester City to Win ()

How to Watch Leicester City vs Liverpool

Leicester City vs Liverpool
What Leicester City vs Liverpool
Where The King Power Stadium, Leicester, England
When Saturday, 13 February 2021, 7.30 AM EST
How to watch NBC Sports

A run of two wins from their last nine top-flight outings has almost certainly knocked Liverpool out of the title race. Jurgen Klopp’s side now trails Manchester City, who thumped them 4-1 last time out, by 10 points. They have also played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers.

Leicester City are tricky opponents for a team short of confidence, but there is reason to believe Liverpool can emerge victorious in Saturday’s early kick-off. The Foxes struggled to cope with Klopp’s forward line in the reverse fixture, and that attacking firepower could prove the difference again here.

Liverpool Are Out of the Title Race but Need to Arrest Their Slide

There is not one simple reason to explain Liverpool’s poor recent form. The absence of their three main center-backs, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip, has certainly not helped. Yet Liverpool’s defensive record initially held up well without Van Dijk and Gomez, who has been out for most of the season. Indeed, neither defender played when Liverpool comprehensively beat Leicester 3-0 in November, in what was one of the Reds’ best performances of the campaign.

The bigger problem has been the knock-on effect elsewhere in the team. Klopp has chosen to redeploy Jordan Henderson and Fabinho at center-back to cover for Van Dijk, Gomez, and Matip, and that has weakened Liverpool’s midfield. On top of that, some key players look fatigued. Roberto Firmino’s levels have dipped in the last 18 months, and the likes of Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Alisson Becker have not quite managed to replicate the form they showed last season.

Manchester City has been relentless in the last couple of months, winning 10 games on the bounce to rise to the summit of the standings. The title is gone for Liverpool, but Champions League qualification is well within their grasp – indeed, DraftKings Sportsbook has them as second-favorites in the ‘Winner without Manchester City’ market at +175. Liverpool’s players must get their title disappointment out of their heads and refocus on the challenge ahead, starting with Saturday’s trip to Leicester.


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Leicester Looking to Avoid Repeat of Last Season’s Dramatic Drop-Off

The title is probably now beyond Leicester too, with Manchester City seven points clear of Brendan Rodgers’ side. Challenging for the championship was never the club’s goal this season, though, and Leicester fans will be happy with their team’s position in third place after 23 games.

At this stage last season, the Foxes were in exactly the same position. They had 45 points back then, compared to 43 now. Yet while they are only four points ahead of fifth place this time around, Leicester had an 11-point cushion in the race for the Champions League places after 23 matches in 2019/20. Even so, they failed to get over the line. With just four wins in their final 15 encounters, Leicester only managed a fifth-place finish and missed out on Europe’s foremost competition.

Rodgers will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that dramatic drop-off 12 months on. There have been no signs that a similar sudden slump is on the horizon, but that was the case last year too. Perhaps that experience made them stronger and will help to prevent it happening again; equally, though, the first sign of a stutter could cause the players to freeze.

Leicester have made great progress under Rodgers. They are less reliant on the counter-attack than they once were, and are now more comfortable when in control of the ball – they rank seventh in the division for average possession this season. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans have been key to that shift, but Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes ensure Leicester are still a threat on the break. That is the approach they will look to take against Liverpool this weekend.

Liverpool Could Pick Leicester off in Phases of Transition

Ozan Kabak is likely to make his Liverpool debut at center-back here, which will allow Klopp to push Henderson back into midfield. That could be the change that sparks the Reds back into life. Henderson has deputized ably in the heart of the backline, but there is no doubt that Liverpool have missed the England international’s drive and intensity in the middle of the pitch. Returning their captain to his favored position would not solve all of Liverpool’s problems, but it would certainly be a good start.

Leicester is a team with top-four ambitions, and Rodgers will not simply pack men behind the ball and hope for the best. He will encourage his players to get on the front foot and be proactive, but that could play into Liverpool’s hands. Salah and Mane in particular are dangerous when given space to play in, and the Reds’ transition game has brought them great success against this Leicester team. Indeed, Liverpool have beaten the Foxes in six of their last seven meetings, with the other game ending in a draw.

If Vardy is fit enough to start, Leicester will be in a much better position to test an under-strength Liverpool backline. In the end, though, this game could come down to individual contributions upfront, and that is where the Premier League champions have the edge. The title has gone for Liverpool, but that could actually help them to play with greater freedom. If it does, expect an away win.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.



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