While the Christmas festive feel continues to bubble around, the Reds on the other hand are gearing up for what would definitely be a feasty clash with surprise league leaders Leicester City, who have no doubt had a great Christmas at the summit of the Premier League table.
Referee: Martin Atkinson, was last in charge of a Liverpool game back in October when the Reds drew city rivals Everton 1-1.
The view from Liverpool:
The Reds will have the added edge of ‘home advantage’, as they welcome surprise league leaders Leicester City to Anfield on Boxing Day. Liverpool are currently on a poor run of form with defeats to Newcastle and Watford alongside a home draw to West Brom in their last three games, picking up just one out of a possible nine points. Kop boss Jurgen Klopp will be looking to fix their poor run which has led to the German winning just three of his first nine Premier League games in charge of Liverpool, the same tally that ex-boss Brendan Rodgers managed in his eight league games as Liverpool manager this season.
Things are not helped with Martin Skrtel being ruled out for a lengthy six weeks with a hamstring injury and vice-captain James Milner also set to sit out the game with a calf problem. Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remained ruled out for the season while Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled with injuries in recent times, seems set to miss the match as he continues working to reach his peak condition. On a positive note, Frenchman Sakho has returned to action, though things did not quite go well in the humbling defeat to Watford, while Dejan Lovren and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet are set to return to the team.
Liverpool form, last five Premier League games : WWLDL
The view from Leicester:
Leicester will enter the game full of confidence and as their previous results show that they are clearly no pushovers, and they will be looking to complete a perfect december having beaten the likes of Swansea, Everton and Chelsea to claim the top spot.
Despite being a team that just one year ago deep in relegation trouble and having to spend Christmas at the bottom of the table, the Foxes have since surprised everyone by battling their way to the summit and well deservedly enjoyed Christmas at the top this time round. Manager Claudio Ranieri remains committed to his original goal of securing safety by reaching the ‘all safe’ 40 points mark, which his side are currently just two points short of.
Leicester have, as everyone would surely know by now, the Premier League’s top scorer in Jamie Vardy, as well as Riyad Mahrez who is also very much on fire. Robert Huth is set to return after suspension and could replace Marcin Wasilewski, who deputised for him at Goodison Park, but Danny Drinkwater is expected to sit out the match after a hamstring injury kept him out of the win over Everton last week, while Jeff Schlupp remains sidelined.
Leicester City form, last five Premier League games : WDWWW
The last time the two sides met at Anfield, almost a year ago, saw then Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, net two penalties in the first half before Leicester hit back in the second half through David Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp to salvage a point. Liverpool have been struggling to score much in recent games but I do expect them to be able to step up their game against high-flying Leicester who no doubt will also be able to score given their red-hot form. The Foxes will definitely be able to trouble the Reds’ defence, which has been fragile of late, but being the home side Liverpool should be able to get at least a point in an exciting draw filled with goals.
Predicted Result : 2-2