Leicester and Liverpool meet for the second time in the space of less than a week and it was the East Midlands outfit that picked up the bragging rights after their first encounter after their 2-0 win in the Carabao Cup Third Round clash. This afternoon Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to exact revenge and pick up the more important league points.
More important than what is being a largely diminished competition this past week after a whole host of managerial comments and also because of the fact that Liverpool stuttered to a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley last Saturday afternoon.
The one common trait in both the draw with Burnley and the loss to Leicester in midweek is the fact the defence has come into criticism and as an extension of that Jurgen Klopp has very much been in the firing line over the past few days.
His failure to capture a centre back did not look like an issue when they steamrollered Arsenal at the end of August but September has not been as rosy with no wins across all competitions since the international break has been and gone.
A 5-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City was then followed with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla when they captured a draw from the jaws of victory and it is this run of results, one that Leicester have already had a hand in that the Foxes will look to continue later today.
Leicester league form has not quite delivered the points the performances have deserved and Craig Shakespeare will look to use the win in midweek as a platform in which to build on, that coupled with a draw away at Huddersfield last week means things are slowly turning around.
They currently lie 15th in the table but when you consider that they have already faced Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea this season it is fair to say that the fixture computer has not been at all kind to them and they will be glad when this run of ‘top six’ opposition finally clears and they can look to get some points on the board.
That said they would have probably identified Huddersfield away as a place where they could pick up their second win of the Premier League season. They would however have to make do with a point as Jamie Vardy’s penalty meant that they would leave Yorkshire with a share of the points.
Liverpool also had to make do with a share of the points but they would have certainly identified a home tie against Burnley as one in which they should have scored all three. Scott Arfield silenced Anfield when he put the Clarets ahead and it was left to Mohamed Salah to restore parity.
In a game that saw Philippe Coutinho make his first Premier League appearance of the season not even his mercurial talents could make the difference. Usually you could make a case of the attack digging the defence out of a hole but last Saturday it was not the case.
It was a draw that sees Liverpool currently sit 8th in the table as they also gave up their one hundred percent record, the failure to beat Burnley also coincided with the first of Sadio Mane’s three matches in which he will be absent after his sending off against Manchester City.
Whether that had any real bearing on the fact they were held to a draw last weekend I’m not sure, obviously a player of his talents would be sorely missed but what would give you a sore head as a Liverpool fan are the defensive lapses and the personnel who carry them out.
Liverpool cannot afford to lose any more ground on the top three clubs even at this early stage of the campaign but to be honest I think that may well be the case later this evening. That said I think there will be a different outcome to midweek with it ending up in a draw and more frustration for Jurgen Klopp‘s men.
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 22, 2017