Preview: Leicester vs Liverpool
Having seen off Brighton on last Saturday, attention will now be solely focused on Leicester City. Indeed the manager will be trying hard to gain all 3 points, leaving nothing to chance. Speaking to the media, Klopp said: “How could I sit here after the season Leicester played so far and only have a percentage of an idea that we will win there for sure? That’s not possible. We only will try everything and for that we need to be ready for a real fight.”
With the Reds gunning for victory at the King Power Stadium, here’s the preview for the game.
No Vardy, No Party?
Jamie Vardy’s lunging tackle against Matt Doherty of Wolves saw the Leicester City attacker being shown a straight red card. As a result, the Englishman will miss the next 3 games, starting with the clash against Liverpool.
Given Vardy’s reputation as a big game player, his absence will definitely hand Liverpool a boost. In fact, Vardy has scored 26 goals against the league’s ‘big six’. Of that 26 goals, 7 had been against the Reds, which is more than any of the other ‘big six’ clubs.
While Leicester has made a strong start to the season, narrowly losing to Manchester United before securing back-to-back victories against Southampton and Wolves, there’s reason to believe that they’ll struggle without Vardy. The Foxes are simply a different side without the combative and direct Vardy. Van Djik and Gomez will certainly find things a lot easier without a striker capable of running in behind them.
With their talisman a no-show, Leicester simply have to look elsewhere for goals to stand a chance against the mighty Reds.
Klopp To Ring In The Changes
The first 3 league games of the season have seen Klopp named an unchanged starting XI. And while it paid off with the Reds collecting a hat-trick of wins, fatigued among the players is starting to set it. Keita was the most prominent example, with his display against Brighton uncharacteristically lethargic. Thus, it would only make sense for Klopp to rest his tired players.
Klopp himself has admitted that players could look to force their way into his plans. Speaking at the press conference, he said: “When you win a game in a week like this – Saturday to Saturday – when we have at least three very intense sessions, I am pretty open. I am pretty open to everyone; I want to see who shows me the most and who shows me that he’s so desperate to play.”
Given the need inject dynamism into the team, Klopp is likely to tweak his starting line-up and give his reserves a chance.
Throw-ins To Be Taken Differently?
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from Klopp’s press conference was the announcement of a specialist throw-in coach. A specialist in this particular field is rarely heard, and fans must be left perplexed at Thomas Gronnemark’s appointment.
Klopp himself has admitted that he had “never heard about a throw-in coach” prior to recruiting the Dane. However, the boss has explained the need for a throw-in coach, saying: “I know about different movements, what we always did, but it was not 100 per cent clear – maybe it’s my fault – how I can improve the guy with the ball, not only the movements of all the other guys.”
Klopp went on further by stating: “You cannot have enough specialists around you. I must always be the guy who makes the decisions on when we use all these specialists but you cannot have enough. We have the fitness, medical department, we have the nutrition, and now we have somebody for throw-ins.”
As intriguing as Thomas’ appointment is, fans will be looking to see how it changes the way Liverpool take throw-ins. Hopefully, the game against Leicester will provide the first clues on the Reds mysterious new coach.