Liverpool head into round 19 fresh off of lifting the FIFA Club World Cup last weekend. The Reds 1-0 extra-time win versus Brazil’s Flamengo enabled them to land their second trophy of the 2019-20 season. Now, Jurgen Klopp and his players turn their attention back to the Premier League with a trip to the King Power Stadium.
Liverpool lead second-place Leicester City by 10 points heading into the fixture. A win would surely see off Leicester City’s title challenge. It would also enable Manchester City to move above the Foxes if they can win versus Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night at Molineaux. If Leicester City can defeat Liverpool, their title challenge would still be on with just seven points separating the two teams.
Although Liverpool lead the Premier League, they go into the fixture on Thursday night with six players ruled out through injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the latest Liverpool player to suffer an injury during the team’s FIFA Club World Cup win. Oxlade-Chamberlain turned his ankle during a challenge damaging a ligament.
The in-form midfielder will miss Thursday’s match and most likely won’t be back until some time in late January at the earliest. Oxlade-Chamberlain joins fellow midfielder Fabinho on the sidelines who is also recovering from an ankle issue. Klopp is hopeful Fabinho will be back in January as well.
The good news for the manager is the form of midfielder Naby Keita, who starred in Qatar in Liverpool’s two Club World Cup matches. Adam Lallana is another option for Klopp in the centre of the park. It is likely that Klopp will play Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Georginio Wijnaldum from the start versus Leicester City. Wijnaldum has just come back from his own injury problem.
Centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are both on the comeback trail as well, but neither will play a part on Thursday night. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk will be paired in defence. The duo played well in the FIFA Club World Cup Final and Gomez looked his strongest thus far in 2019-20.
Rhian Brewster and Nathaniel Clyne round out the injured Reds for Thursday night. Clyne has a long-term injury while Brewster has a knock to his lower leg.
Who will Klopp start versus Leicester City?
Klopp may have several players missing through injury, but the manager still has a strong squad to pick from for their trip to Leicester City.
Liverpool should start with Alisson Becker in goal with Van Dijk, Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson in defence. Midfield should see Klopp pick his reliable trio of Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum, as long as the Dutchman can manage the full 90 minutes. Milner scored and create a goal versus Leicester City when Liverpool defeated the Foxes at Anfield in October.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino should start in the attack. Klopp would then have Keita, Lallana, Neco Williams, Divock Origi, and Xherdan Shaqiri on the bench. The manager could start Keita in place of Milner giving Klopp another defensive option to bring off the bench.