A last-gasp equalizer from Takumi Minamino and Kelleher’s exploits in the penalty shootout denied Leicester City a memorable win at Anfield a few days ago in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Liverpool had gone 3-1 down to the Foxes, but chipped in with a stunning comeback courtesy of goals coming from Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino.
In the penalty shootout, besides the Japanese hitting the upright, Liverpool players found the net with ease. But the hero of the shootout was Caoimhin Kelleher, who looked well prepared for the scenario and made two stunning saves to take the Reds to the final four stages.
A day after Jurgen Klopp complained about two games scheduled across alternate days, it was confirmed that their fixture against Leeds was postponed by the FA due to the rising number of COVID cases among the United unit. Since playing the League Cup quarter-finas, they haven’t played a game, offering them some much-needed rest.
They have been in stellar goal-scoring form in the Premier League, and failed to score less than two goals only on two occasions. They haven’t gone a single game in this season without scoring and eyeing for some big records as the season progresses. They are just three short of Manchester City, who had a scare on Boxing Day against Liverpool’s Tuesday opponents.
Leicester have something similar to boast about, with the side scoring plenty of goals, even netting thrice against the best defensive team of the league in Manchester City. After going 4-0 down in less than 30 minutes, Leicester staged a dramatic comeback led by former City player Kelechi Ihenacho, who assisted twice and scored once to bring the game to 4-3 with 25 minutes remaining.
City, however, found a way through and managed to score two more, to finish the game 6-3 in one of the most frantic fixtures of the season. Leicester now have conceded nine goals in their last two fixtures, whilst scoring six themselves. They have picked up some big results at the King Power Stadium this season, but the reds have found it way too easy over the years to get a result at this venue.
Liverpool once again will enter as the firm favorites to pick up all three points, with their goal-scoring bandwagon in the best possible shape and form. However, Leicester have proven themselves to be capable of outscoring any opponent in the English league, making this game a very interesting prospect for the fans.
James Maddison has been in stellar form in the last few weeks, and was directly involved in two of the three goals scored. Overall, the playmaker has picked up five goals and three assists in the league and his tally could’ve been even higher had some gettable opportunities not been missed. The 25-year-old will threaten the Liverpool backline on the break constantly.
After a stellar performance against Manchester City, Kelechi Ihenacho is likely to get a game ahead of youngster Patson Daka. The Nigerian has been primarily restricted to the bench, but might be starting alongside Jamie Vardy to add to his 2 goals and 7 assists tally in this season across all competitions.
Trent Alexander-Arnold leads the charts among chances created and assists made, making him the best playmaker statistically. Not often you get to say that about a full-back, but the 23-year-old has been in the form of his life since the start of this season. As it stands, he has made 8 assists and scored two stunning goals in the league.
Being hailed currently as the best player in the world, Mohamed Salah is having an even more memorable campaign than he did in his first season at the club under Klopp. He has scored 15 times and assisted 9 in the League, taking his goal-contribution tally to a whopping 31 across all competitions and the season is only half done.
Talk about scoring clutch goals, Diogo Jota has found himself in the right position at the right time on multiple occasions, making the manager prefer him over Roberto Firmino these days. He has scored 10 times in the Premier League, most of which came in crucial moments for the club, including that pivotal goal against Leicester last week that brought them back in the game.
There is so much promise in this Leicester unit, and perhaps they might be able to defend their FA Cup crown and go a little distance in the Conference League, but Liverpool could be too much of an ask for them as it stands. Whilst there is decent evidence to suggest they can outscore the 2019/20 champions, the probability of that happening is way too low.
Liverpool could run away with a 3-1 win from the East Midlands, and as sensational as they are defensively, Klopp wouldn’t mind not getting a clean sheet against Brendan Rodgers’ high-flying Foxes.