It took a late, late goal from Glen Johnson to provide some relief to Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool, prior to beating Stoke City, Liverpool had lost 3 league games in a row and were looking to go a 4th game without a win. Johnson, bravely nodded the ball in the back of the net to give Liverpool a 1-0 win over Stoke City which has helped their confidence but that confidence is still brittle and the team did not look convincing in their win. Rodgers had left out Gerrard in his 16th anniversary since making his debut for Liverpool and it looked like the plan had backfired until Johnson came to their rescue.
Leicester host Liverpool on Tuesday night and the 5-3 win over Manchester United seems to have been put in the past, Leicester have struggled since that amazing win. Leicester have only taken 2 points from their next 8 games since winning against Manchester United and until Esteban Cambiasso’s goal at QPR, they had gone 503 minutes since finding the back of the net. The game against QPR was tough on Leicester City, losing 3-2 but the performance would give them an uplift.
The last time Liverpool played away, they took a 1-0 lead against Crystal Palace but were then comprehensively beaten 3-1 in the game, that should give Leicester the hope of doing another number on a Liverpool team struggling to find their place this season.
Leicester City would be missing Dean Hammond, Hammond is back in training but the game against Liverpool is too early for him to be named in the squad. Everton fan, David Nugent would be assessed before the game and would hope to start against Liverpool. Nigel Pearson would be looking to name the same side that played well against Queens Park Rangers but were unlucky to leave Loftus Road without a share of the points.
Steven Gerrard should be in the running to start the game after being rested for the game against Stoke City. Rickie Lambert should continue up in front for the Reds after impressing in his last 3 games and with the fact that Mario Balotelli is still recovering from his injury. Kolo Toure should keep his spot in the centre of defence after a battling display against Stoke City when Liverpool got a clean sheet. Dejan Lovren should continue on the bench while Liverpool may be left to decide between Joe Allen or Lucas Leiva starting the game for the Reds.
Leiva did really well against Stoke City and provided some much needed cover in front of the back four, something that had been missing from the Liverpool team for a while, Leiva would be hoping for a continued run in the team. Glen Johnson, the hero for Liverpool in the last game should be ok to start, even though he received staples in his head to stop the gash when he got kicked in the head when scoring the goal for Liverpool.
Adam Lallana and Coutinho should partner Raheem Sterling in attack, Coutinho provided that attacking spark up front in the last game and Rodgers would be hopeful for some more Brazilian magic to help Liverpool register back to back wins.
Ulloa vs. Toure
Leonardo Ulloa was on fire at the start of the season and has scored 5 goals in 9 appearances but his influence on the team has reduced in the last few games, still the Argentine would be a threat against a shaky Liverpool defence and Kolo Toure would be having his work cut out keeping the Argentine quiet.
Cambiasso vs. Gerrard
A couple of world class midfielders go head to head, Cambiasso has been the one Leicester City player who has done really well every single time he has put on the jersey and he scored in the last game Leicester played. Gerrard was rested against Stoke City before coming on late to play in a more attacking role and he could be deployed in similar fashion at the King Power stadium.
The Leicester City Centre backs vs. Lambert
Rickie Lambert has provided strength to the Liverpool forward line and he is a willing runner, chasing lost causes. He has taken the chances provided due to injuries to the other strikers and would be looking to cement his position in the starting XI with another good performance against Leicester City.
Leicester have lost 5 of their last 6 games.
Leicester’s only win at home was the 5-3 win over Manchester United; they have drawn 5 of their other 5 games at home.
Liverpool have kept only 1 clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League games.
Leicester have scored more goals this season than Liverpool in the Premier League.
“We’re in a position we don’t want to be in of course. I think there is a temptation to look too negatively but the game in isolation at the weekend we could have done lots of good things. We have lost another game and need to rectify it pretty quickly. It’s a good game for us. It comes quickly after the last game, we’ve not had many midweek games this season. Preparation is slightly different from normal. The players are used to playing back-to-back games through being in the Championship.”
Brendan Rodgers on Steven Gerrard contract offer:
“The latest is he has been offered a contract here and at this moment in time that is where it is at. In what he has done in his 16 years here (in the first team) he is a man who deserves the utmost respect and time to consider that. It is a big move not just in his life but in terms of committing where his next contract is going to be. There are probably many things Steven would have to think about in a decision like this but it certainly won’t be money.”
Possible line ups:
Leicester City starting XI: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Wasilewski, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Cambiasso, Schlupp, Ulloa, James, Vardy
Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Toure, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho, Lambert
Prediction: Had it been last season, it would have been an easy Liverpool win but this season has been tough on them and I expect Leicester City to at least get a point from this game.
Quotes courtesy: Eurosport
Image courtesy: Liverpoolfc.com, CNN & BBC Sport