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Liverpool vs Leicester – Premier League Match Preview

Liverpool may have broken the world record transfer fee for a defender after the agreement to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75m but unfortunately for the Netherlands international this fixture comes around too soon what with the deal not being able to be rubber stamped until January 1st.

That means that the soon to be former Southampton player will have to watch another game from the stands but this time with his support going to his upcoming employers as Liverpool play host to Leicester at Anfield with the Merseyside outfit knowing that a win today would solidify fourth spot in the race for the Champions League next season.

The frenetic 3-3 draw away at Arsenal eight days ago was arguably the game which jolted Liverpool into life as far as their transfer expenditure goes, there is obviously no secret that the club have been long time admirers of Van Dijk and after that defensive display at the Emirates you got the feeling that Jurgen Klopp would have thought that a new centre back is not just a priority but an absolute necessity.

Thankfully for Liverpool though there were no such concerns on Boxing Day as they made easy work of a Swansea side that was led by Leon Britton for the second and final time. If the game against Arsenal showed how poor the defence can be then the win against the Swans showed how ruthless they are in attack.

It was a five star performance as Liverpool made light work of the Premier League’s basement side but perhaps you could argue that a team that has scored just 11 goals all season was never really going to trouble whoever was named in the back four for the Merseyside outfit in a game that turned out to be a Boxing Day rout.

They will undoubtedly face a sterner test this afternoon with the visit of a Leicester side who although they have only picked up a solitary point in their last three matches they still find themselves eighth in the Premier League at present. It may be a small rut that the Foxes are going through but on the whole life under Claude Puel has been good since his appointment as manager.

Last time out they traveled to Vicarage Road and were dealt defeat by a Watford side who prior to that had lost their last four successive league matches, defeat in Hertfordshire meant that Leicester failed to bridge the gap between them and Burnley in seventh while Everton now hover closer of their shoulder with just goal difference separating the two sides.

The objective this season for Leicester will aim to be the best of the rest, that meaning finishing seventh at the end of the season which if the winners of the two domestic cups go their way could also mean a return to European football via the Europa League. If they were to pull that off then it would be quite the justification for getting rid of Craig Shakespeare back in October.

After failing miserably to defend their Premier League title last season it looks as if Leicester have now found something more akin to a natural level, it was always going to be a huge ask for them to match what they did back in 2016, but after a relatively rocky season last time around it seems as if Claude Puel has got them on something resembling more calmer waters.

Leicester are certainly exciting going forward with 30 goals this season in the Premier League, an average of 1.5 goals per game but their undoing is the fact that they have conceded the exact same amount at the other end. Frustrating if you are a fan of the Foxes but at least it is entertaining if you are a neutral.

With both teams propensity to both attack well and defend not so well this game does at least promise goals, I have a feeling both teams will score but I think it is Liverpool that will come out on top and in turn add the pressure to Tottenham and Arsenal as they look to keep up in the race for fourth place. A home win for me.

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