Liverpool Klopp Episode 27: Thunderball
The crowded fixture schedule takes Liverpool to King Power Stadium to take on League leading Leicester City. Should be quite the match up! Seems like forever that they last met, but it was only just a month ago on Boxing Day that LFC stunned the Foxes with a 1-0 win. In that match, Origi got injured and has been out ever since. Benteke was subbed in and he got the game winner in the second half.
Klopp seems to have a fairly fixed "A" team. Thus, we should be seeing those players against Leicester. The open questions:
Does Lovren, who played a full 90 against West Ham, start alongside Sakho in place of Toure?
Has Smith earned a shot at displacing Moreno?
Is Henderson ready to go after having to be taken out early against Stoke?
I think Lovren is in if there is no issues with his recovery on Sunday/Monday.
Moreno stays in the starting XI.
Henderson is in if there is no issues with his recovery from the Stoke match though Allen would be an easy choice to plug in if he needs a little more rest.
What do you think?
UPDATE: According to UK Guardian, good news for LFC fans as Henderson appears ready to go for the battle against the Foxes. Also, some of the injury list players (Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho and Martin Skrtel) are returning to training and will soon be available for selection. A draw or upset win on Tuesday against LCFC combined with potentially four of the senior team back in the next week or two, LFC could make a push for a top-4 finish. And certainly, having more players to select from will help in the busy fixtures in the EPL, League Cup, FA Cup, and Europa Cup. Rodgers was not able to win any silverware during his tenure. Perhaps, LFC under Klopp might break the drought somewhere somehow!
LCFC does not have European competition to clog their schedule. They have been eliminated in the League Cup. They are still alive in the FA Cup. Thus, they are likely to have the fresher team. Meanwhile, LFC has been playing so many matches with an injury thinned roster. Will see how LFC do tonight. There have been some matches where LFC came out flat and got clobbered. It is entirely possible that LCFC will run them off the field with their counter-attacks. But Klopp's side has had its share of stunning victories when people have least expected it. One of the biggest was defeating the Foxes 1-0 in December.
USA TV coverage at NBCSN. Internet radio through LiverpoolFC.com and TalkSport.
LFC XI and substitutes announced (it is the anticipated line-up):
ESPN Ben Jacobs says LCFC 2 LFC 0 while Steven Kelly says LCFC 2 LFC 3.
In my blog, I have taken to the custom of only predicting the XI and not the results. The EPL scriptwriters have been all over the place with Liverpool. Who would have guessed they would overwhelm Man City on the road (1-4) and squeak past LCFC 1-0? And likewise, they have been shutout by West Ham twice (0-3, 2-0) and mauled by Newcastle (2-0) and Watford (3-0).
LCFC 2 LFC 0. Too much Vardy. LFC had possession, had shots, but they don't have a game changing player like Vardy. Well deserved win for the Foxes. Klopp and company need to win the upcoming EPL matches against the bottom table teams to keep their faint hopes for European soccer and extraordinary faint hopes for at top-4 finish alive. In any case, more disappointments and the fan base will go crazy and will need to be talked off the ledge as it was during the Rodger's tenure.
As for the rest of February, a mixed slew of FA Cup replay, League Cup final, and Europa league away/home matches.
Here is the Echo's player ratings.
Here is the ESPNFC player ratings.
Will there be some line-up changes for the match against Sunderland?