Ex-Reds striker- Brazilian star deserves to start at centre-back against Leicester

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It is fair to say Lucas Leiva was outstanding against Tottenham just over two weeks ago.

The Brazilian joined Joel Matip at centre-back in combating a highly talented Spurs attack and, in turn, helping Liverpool earn a valuable clean sheet.

With Dejan Lovren likely to miss out on Monday’s trip to Leicester, Lucas looks set to retain his place in the starting lineup ahead of Ragnar Klavan.

It is his experience and dedication to the cause that could make him a reliable figure heading into a decisive stage of the season in which winning will come down to heart just as much as it will come down to skill.

Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has backed the 30-year-old to build on what was a solid performance last time out.

“Lucas did really well against Tottenham,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“It’s not his natural position but look at their frontline – Eriksen barely created a chance; Harry Kane barely got a sniff of goal apart from one chalked off for offside; Tottenham rarely threatened us, we dealt with their attacking players very well and Lucas did very well with Matip alongside him, much better than against Hull in the previous game.”

“I thought that sort of performance probably did enough to keep him in the side.”

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The sacking of Claudio Ranieri could make it a tough contest on Monday night with the champions looking to kick start a fight back and respond to criticism over their role in the dismissal of their title winning manager.

It promises to be a busy night for Liverpool’s defence in particular with the pace in behind of Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa posing as a main threat that Matip and Lucas himself will need to deal with.

Another display like the one against Spurs and we will be fine.

More Stories Ahmed Musa Jamie Vardy Joel Matip Leicester Liverpool Lucas Leiva Neil Mellor Tottenham