Anfield, Saturday 10 September 2016
Liverpool play their first match at Anfield this season, having already beaten Arsenal 4-3 at Emirates, lost to Burnley 0-2 at Turf Moor, and drawn with Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the first three games of the 2016/17 Premier League season. The new Main Stand was unveiled on Friday 9 September, the day before this game against Leicester. A historic day for the club, and we all hope it will end with a victory.
This could easily be seen as a meeting between two very good sides who know each other well frm before. It could also be seen as a meeting between two of the funniest and interesting managers in the English Premier League: Jürgen Klopp and Claudio Ranieri.
In the pre-match press conference at King Power Stadium, Claudio Ranieri said a few funny things about both Liverpool and Leicester. He obviously sees exactly what Klopp saw during last season’s campaign. Taking part in four competitions – league, two domestic cups, and Champions League – is a very difficult task both for a squad of players, a first team and a manager. Some players must be rested at times, in some games, to have fresh legs for the games they actually do play. Ranieri shall have to make use of far more players this season than he had to do last time around, when Leicester shocked the world and won the Premier League title by some margin.
Ranieri also belives Liverpool, alongside Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, must be regarded as a real title contenders this season. He means it. Of course he does. Jürgen Klopp’s way of playing impresses him. But Claudio Ranieri is a joker, too. He said it would be another fairytale if Leicester were to win the Premier League title again this season, laughed and in some fun fashion implied the other managers would have to pick up a hand gun and shoot themselves in the head if Leicester actually did it again now.
Leicester manager Ranieri is satisfied with his squad now, as he has, most importantly, been able to keep most all of the squad that won the title last season for this season, and has had as many as nine players sign new long term contracts.
Head-To-Head: Previous meetings
2015/16: Liverpool 1-0 Leicester (goal: Benteke)
Leicester 2-0 Liverpool (goals: Vardy)
2014/15: Leicester 1-3 Liverpool (goals: Mignolet (o.g), Lallana, Gerrard, Henderson)
Liverpool 2-2 Leicester (goals: Gerrard (2), Nugent, Schlupp)
Leicester: Schlupp and Mendy do not play. Schmeichel might not play. Slimani might get his debut for Leicester, but I doubt he will start the game, having just arrived in Leicester and only trained with the team for one session before the Anfield clash.
Liverpool: Emre Can, Ragnar Klavan, Sheyi Ojo, and Mamadou Sakho will not play due to small injuries and lack of team training. Philippe Coutinho will reportedly not play either, as he is needs a rest after travelling to South America in the international break.
Predicted Liverpool starting line-up
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
Right back: Nathaniel Clyne
Centre back: Dejan Lovren
Centre back: Joël Matip
Left back: James Milner
Right winger: Sadio Mané
Defensive midfielder: Jordan Henderson
Central midfielder: Gini Wijnaldum
Central midfielder: Adam Lallana
Left winger: Roberto Firmino
Forward: Divock Origi
If Leicester’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel doesn’t play due to a minor injury, the starting line-up keeper will be Ron-Robert Zieler. That remains to be seen.
Leicester’s back four will probably consist of Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, and Christian Fuchs.
Left winger Riyad Mahrez will be one very important man to watch. We all know both of his skills, pace and other qualities and we also know of Liverpool’s left back problem. Can Henderson and Milner do what is expected of them this time around? That’s the question.
Daniel Amartey, Danny Drinkwater, and Mark Albrighton are all good players in the midfield, and could cause extra problems, all of them, if only too much concentration is wasted on Riyad Mahrez whilst other opposition players are a little neglected.
Up front, Leicester will certainly play Jamie Vardy from the start. I believe he will be partnered by Shinji Okazaki, who is also very fast and skilled.
This will be a great match, I believe we’re going to see lots of chances created in front of both goals at Anfield. Then, who knows what might be the outcome after 90 minutes? Win, lose or draw? Hard to tell, but we certainly all hope for a good game and a victory as we play this historic home match at a celebrated new-look Anfield with it’s new main stand.
Written by @magneleokarlsen