The New Year is upon us and that means the hectic Christmas schedule is about to draw to its conclusion. Liverpool host Leicester in the traditional New Year’s Day fixtures.
Liverpool will be looking to make it three consecutive wins in a game they should be winning with ease. Leicester will be looking to salvage any sort of point agaibst the Reds at Anfield. Leicester managed a fantastic result away to Hull, last time out, 1-0. Nigel Pearson’s men may have been given a huge confidence boost after sealing all three points in a game of huge significance. Liverpool cruised to a 4-1 victory over Swansea at Anfield. It saw Liverpool illustrate that they still are a good team with tremendous players after a seriously shaky start to this Premier League season.
The last time these sides met was not long ago at all. It was early December, a bitter mid-week night in the King Power Stadium. Leicester gained the initiative in the match after some shambolic Liverpool defending and the Tigers were one goal to the good. However, Liverpool controlled the vast majority of the game and were good value for their 3-1 win. Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were amongst the Liverpool scorers. Liverpool will be hoping for something similar on January the 1st.
Liverpool were amazing against Swansea, and, in my opinion, it was down to two people especially. Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana. Coutinho was at the top of his game, it seemed. Defenders would not be able to get anywhere near him and if they did, he’d pull off an unthinkable skill to leave them with all sorts of problems on their hands. Lallana, too, was terrific. He scored two amazing goals, in different ways. The first showed great determination, intensity and tenacity – dare I say it, Luis Suarez-esque.
Martin Skrtel is suspended for this game after picking up his fifth yellow card ot the campaign on Monday night. I’d choose Kolo Toure to replace the Slovak. I wouldn’t be too bothered, though, if it was Dejan Lovren, or too surprised. The Croatian is expected to return from injury that has kept him out of the last couple of games.
Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno were the two wing-backs against Swansea. They were both tremendous, I thought. I also thought playing them there allows Henderson to be excellent in the middle. Moreno managed to get himself a good goal and always looks a threat going forward and looked solid defensively when called upon on Monday. I’d start with the two Spaniards again on Thursday.
As much as I love him, Steven Gerrard doesn’t deserve to come back in the side, for me. Although, if Lucas was to come out for Gerrard, I’d be satisfied with the change.
Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho were both really good against Swansea and neither of them should come out of the side. Can’s ability on the ball and his willingness to take the ball out from the back is huge to how this system works. Sakho’s passing was brilliant on Monday. Moreno’s goal all started because of his great pass to Moreno which has terrific power and placement.
Raheem Sterling on his own again. His mobility, speed, movement and agility is huge to how we’ve been playing. The runs he makes benefit other people and create chances for others in the team. This is testament to his intelligence and maturity at such a young age.
This is the team I’d go with against Leicester:
Choose your Liverpool team here.