Top plays third in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon; and when the season started not many people would have thought that such a fixture would include Leicester City. But that is the reality for Brendan Rodgers as he takes his team to Anfield to face former club, Liverpool.
- Game: Liverpool v Leicester City
- Venue: Anfield
- Kick-off: Saturday 5th October @ 3.00pm
Liverpool have started this season in the same vein that they finished the last one, and have now won sixteen consecutive Premier League games since they last dropped a point in the Merseyside derby in early March.
Their seven wins this season have opened up a five-point cushion ahead of Manchester City, and they will be keen to get the win that will increase that gap to eight points and put even more pressure on the champions, who do not play until Sunday.
Leicester City have hit the ground running this season, suffering just one defeat at Old Trafford, where a Marcus Rashford penalty was all that separated the two teams. After kicking off the season with two draws, the Foxes kickstarted their season with wins over Sheffield United (2-1), Bournemouth (3-1) and Tottenham Hotspur (2-1), while last weekend’s 5-0 victory over Newcastle United was every bit as emphatic as it sounds.
Sports Betting Odds
Leicester have impressed this season, but not enough to dissuade the bookies from installing Liverpool as rock solid favourites, with Bet365’s offering 9/20 on offer on a home win.
A repeat of last season’s draw in the corresponding fixture might attract some interest at 15/4 (Betfair), while you can get 13/2 with William Hill on Leicester producing an upset.
Team Facts & Analysis
Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United became the only time in their run of sixteen straight league wins that Liverpool have failed to score two or more goals, and their first single-goal win since winning 1-0 at Brighton in January. They are now unbeaten in 43 Premier League home games (W33, D10), scoring 112 goals in the process and conceding just 23.
But Liverpool’s attacking prowess continues to paper over the cracks of a sometimes suspect defence that has yet to be fully exposed in the Premier League. This was never better illustrated than in Wednesday’s topsy-turvy 4-3 Champion’s League win over Salzburg. Liverpool’s previous European outing, losing 2-0 at Napoli, had seen them fail to score for the first time in eleven games.
Eleven of Liverpool’s eighteen league goals have been shared among Salah (4), Mane (4) and Firmino (3), while Salah and Mane were both on the scoresheet again on Wednesday. Indeed, you have to go back to December last year, sixteen games ago, to find the last time the Anfield crowd did not see at least one of that trio find the net in a home league outing.
Leicester City have surprised many this season, not least with their defensive resilience despite the departure of Harry Maguire. They go into this game sharing the best defensive record with their hosts; both teams having conceded just five goals so far.
Indeed, Leicester’s 2-2 draw at West Ham in April remains the only time they have conceded more than one goal in any of their last sixteen league games, during which their only defeats have been three 1-0 reversals, while they have kept five clean sheets along the way.
Leicester have scored on each of their last four league visits to Anfield albeit without any of those goals contributing to a victory. They have not returned from Liverpool with all three points since the year 2000, and since then they have lost five and drawn twice. One of those draws was last season, where the 1-1 scoreline was the first of four draws in six games — which arguably had more impact on Liverpool’s title hopes than their solitary loss at Manchester City.
Under the management of Brendan Rodgers, Leicester have rediscovered some of the mojo of their historic title-winning season, looking more organised in defence and more incisive going forward. Just like in that memorable season, Jamie Vardy is their most potent threat up front, contributing five goals in their four wins, and he definitely seems to be benefiting from the acquisition of Ayoze Perez and Youri Tielemans in midfield, not to mention the increasingly influential James Maddison pulling the creative strings.