|Liverpool will be without Sadio Mane and Leicester will be without Jamie Vardy for Thursday's premier league encounter. Who then will stand up tall for these sides? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Liverpool vs Leicester City
Liverpool will be able to welcome Mohammed Salah back to the line up after returning with a heavy heart from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon but Sadio Mane will only arrive on Thursday following a triumphant tournament.
Jurgen Klopp revealed that the Egyptian is still struggling from the effect of the loss to Senegal on Sunday but hinted he’d be involved on Thursday against the Foxes, in what capacity is what is left to be seen when the team sheet is released ahead of kickoff.
Leicester City aren’t where they want to be and some pundits believe it’s down to the uncertainties around the managerial position as Brendan Rodgers was linked to the Manchester United job before Ralph Rangnick was hired.
Leicester are 12th on the log, a far cry from where they were at this stage last season and although they have few games in hand, the outlook is still as poor as they can imagine considering the quality of resources available to Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool saw Manchester City win last night to extend their stronghold on the table to twelve points. A win over the Foxes will help the Kops to reduce the deficit and by the time they play their outstanding game, it could be down to just six.
Leicester on paper aren’t anywhere near the quality of Liverpool but they have enjoyed amazing results against the Kops in the past including as recent as the reverse fixture of this game in December, a 1-0 win heaped pressure on Liverpool then and this might just be payback time.
Liverpool also beat Leicester to advance in the Carabao Cup but the Foxes led 3-1 up until the final minutes of regular time before losing on penalties. This is one game both sides enjoy but the stakes are higher then ever before.
Who’s available and who’s not? Wilfred Ndidi and the rest of the AFCON folks are back except Napalys Mendy who won the trophy with Sadio Mane, Jamie Vardy is unavailable due to injury, Timothy Castagne, Wes Fofana and Jonny Evans remain out.
For Liverpool, Klopp has enough men to call upon to prosecute this fixture, and it’s going to be Liverpool’s to lose.