Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back Joel Matip has lavished praise on Brazilian stalwart Lucas, our longest serving player.
The 30-year-old has started our past two games at centre-back and should do again versus Leicester on Monday evening, because Dejan Lovren has flown to Germany to see a specialist about his knee problem.
There’s been no official word on the Croat’s return, but we’d suggest if he’s leaving the country for medical treatment that Lucas will be in the team for a few more matches yet…
“Lucas has done a very good job. He played brilliantly in the last game against Tottenham,” Matip told the Echo. “I try to help him. Normally, he’s a midfielder but he’s performed like he’s always been a centre-back.”
Ragnar Klavan has been usurped by Lucas in the central defensive pecking order and in many ways, the position is the South American’s to lose.
He’s good on the ball at the back and makes excellent interceptions, but it’s hard for him positionally when balls are played in from wide areas. This has been something the entire defence has struggled with this term though, but against Leicester, it’ll be the pace of Jamie Vardy he’ll likely have to contend with.
Liverpool should defend deep, which totally stunts Leicester’s attacking threat, but knowing Jurgen Klopp – we’ll look to sit high and dominate possession – meaning we’ll need to be very careful to avoid counter-attacks against us.