This Saturday 17:30 – 10/09/2016
After the annoyance of the international break, the return of the Premier League is as joyous as greeting an old friend. A couple of rather lip-smacking fixtures have been served up – none more so than this meeting between Liverpool and Leicester at Anfield on Saturday.
Find our predictions and betting tips for the Liverpool vs Leicester game at the bottom of this post
Immediately following the international break you can almost hear the deep breath that managers up and down the land take as they wait to hear on the fitness of their players after representing their countries. You can forgive Jurgen Klopp for being more nervy than most after TWELVE of his first team squad jetted off to all corners of the globe.
“Adam Lallana will be buzzing after netting the winner in England’s 1-0 triumph in Slovakia”
Happily for him, none have reported injury problems, and Klopp can largely be happy with his lot: Adam Lallana will be buzzing after netting the winner in England’s 1-0 triumph in Slovakia – a match in which Daniel Sturridge barely featured, Nathaniel Clyne was an unused sub and Jordan Henderson had a quiet hour, Phillip Coutinho was in outstanding form for Brazil in a pair of cameos, and Georgio Wijnaldum netted for Holland.
For Leicester, Kasper Schmeichel decided to turn down a trip to represent Denmark in order to step up his recovery from a hernia operation; he could well feature on Saturday. Other than that slight concern, Claudio Ranieri has a full complement to work with.
2016/17 Season Stats
Liverpool’s rather discombobulating start to the season has left punters in a bit of a quandary as to their actual status at the moment. Although, the 1-1 draw with Spurs last time out was a handy guide; the Reds were the better side for large swathes of the game.
But that followed a schizophrenic opening pair of fixtures in which they out-gunned the Gunners before going down 0-2 at Turf Moor despite having something like 158% possession of the ball. But as we know, the only number that counts in football is the amount in the goals tally.
Despite Liverpool’s up-and-down start they have only gone over the 2.5 goal mark in 33% (2/3). With both teams netting in 66% of their outings to date, that really should have been 100% with 26 shots at goal against Burnley.
Leicester’s incredible title-winning run was based on defending stoutly then breaking at pace on the counter. Playing away at Anfield, against a Liverpool side who enjoy possession but who suffered a double sucker-punch in their 0-2 loss at Burnley, will suit them. Whether Klopp’s side get kippered on the counter attack twice in the space of three games is questionable.
The Foxes haven’t quite been at their best so far in 2016/17, but they did completely control their 2-1 win over Swansea and that will have pleased any fans who might just have been getting twitchy after claiming one point from six. In Daniel Amartey, they may just have found a passable replacement for the outstanding N’Golo Kante too.
Stats wise, Leicester have recorded BTTS verdicts in 66% of their outings (2/3), and also gone Over 2.5 Goals at the same mark.
Usually the head-to-head stats offer a real insight into how two sides will fare when they clash. But, let’s face it, Leicester’s past is largely irrelevant compared to where they are now as the champion of England.
For what it’s worth, Liverpool – incredibly – hold only a narrow 33-31 lead (who’d have thought that?). Of the two most recent fixtures, it was home advantage that counted with the Reds triumphing 1-0 at Anfield and the Foxes gaining revenge at the KP Stadium in a 2-0 victory.
Predictions & Betting Tips
It takes a brave old punter to try and second-guess what this Liverpool outfit is capable of; from the sublime to the ridiculous, in the space of 90 minutes, is one way to describe them.
Tactically, this match is likely to pan out in much the same way as the Burnley-Liverpool encounter a few weeks ago. The Reds will enjoy plenty of possession, but the key here is that instead of firing speculative long-range efforts at goal – as they did almost incessantly at Turf Moor – they will need to carve open Leicester and create more ‘high percentage’ goalscoring chances. Teams have found that tough to do against the Foxes in recent times.
“Leicester will do what Leicester have done so well for the past year or so”
Leicester will do what Leicester have done so well for the past year or so: defend deep and in numbers. Then when they do break down Liverpool’s attacks, spring the ball forward rather quickly to Jamie Vardy in the channels. That should prove to be a fruitful tactic, as Liverpool’s centre halves (whether they go for Diego Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and/or Joel Matip) are not exactly blessed with pace – as Burnley found out.
But Liverpool will go almost with a front four of Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana and Mane, and for a Leicester side that has conceded in 66% of outings that does not bode well.
Expect goals here then, but perhaps the draw is the smart play at 10/3.
Any of the goals markets are worthy of your time and money, with Both Teams to Score (4/5) slightly better value than Over 2.5 Goals (8/11).
Goals + the draw = a correct scoreline of 1-1 (15/2) or 2-2 (16/1). At the price, those are both worthy of investment.