Liverpool can continue their impressive Premier League campaign with another victory when they host Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday (20:00 GMT, live on BT Sport).
Neither side was involved in FA Cup action over the weekend, having both been eliminated in the third round. They have had a week and a half to recharge their batteries after a hectic period and prepare for this midweek fixture.
Liverpool spent some of that time doing warm-weather training in Dubai, with Jurgen Klopp keen to get all of his players in the best shape possible for the run-in to a campaign that he and everyone around the club hopes will end with them claiming their first league title in 29 years. They are the bookies’ favourites to do so, ahead of holders Manchester City.
Man City’s victory when the two sides met in their first match of the new calendar year cut the difference between them to four points, but Liverpool arguably have the easier remaining fixtures. Both still have to play Manchester United away and Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at home, but City also have to host Arsenal. Some statistics-based models give Liverpool as high as a 71% chance of claiming the title.
That seems a tad generous. Despite setting an incredible pace to date, dropping just nine of the available 69 points, Liverpool will be aware of the fact that they still have little margin for error. Despite a slightly harder schedule, City are very much capable of winning the large majority of those fixtures. Liverpool cannot afford any more than a couple of slip-ups.
They will be grateful to find a Leicester side who they have defeated in each of their last three meetings – including a 2-1 victory earlier this season in which Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino scored the goals – awaiting them on the other side of their rest period. Especially so as Leicester come into the match in the midst of a rotten run of form.
Leicester have lost five of their last eight in the Premier League. They still remain in the hunt to top the closely packed group of teams squabbling over seventh place. However supporter unrest over the approach of coach Claude Puel, which can charitably be described as cautious, and the team’s inconsistency is growing. King Power stadium goers have seen just 13 goals so far this season and only three teams have scored less on home soil.
Similar complaints greeted Puel’s work at Southampton. The relative precariousness of his situation is supported by the bookies’ odds. He is favourite, at best odds of evens, to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.
Given the situation, Puel could hardly ask for a worse run of fixtures than one that reads: Liverpool (away), Manchester United (home), Tottenham Hotspur (away). Even though his side recorded back-to-back wins over Chelsea (away) and Manchester City (home) over Christmas, and an argument could be made that his approach is better suited to countering stronger opposition, they have also lost to Spurs, Arsenal, United and of course, Liverpool so far this season.
Leicester also end the campaign with three consecutive fixtures against top-six opposition. They are going to have to pick up a strong haul of points in their other nine matches if they are to have any chance of claiming the seventh-place finish that will likely be required to see Puel continue his reign into the next campaign.
Our Preview’s Liverpool vs. Leicester City Betting Tips Verdict
Liverpool are the clear favourites for Wednesday’s match. Both teams have scored in each of the last five league matches between them. While goals have been a problem for Leicester at home, they have only once failed to score on their travels so far this season. With that in mind, a Liverpool victory in a match in which both teams score seems a solid play.
- Bet on Liverpool to win in a match featuring over 2.5 goals @ 19/10 with Coral.