Leicester City vs. Liverpool odds, preview, and pick
Leicester City will host Liverpool in Premier League action on Saturday, and we are here to preview it for our Match of the Week. Liverpool are favored as the road team, with the total expected to be more than two and a half goals.
Sat, February 13 2021, 12:30 PM
Leicester must win to keep title hopes alive
Leicester has won just once in their last four matches in the Premier League, and they sit seven points behind Manchester City with an extra match played. Anything other than a victory on Saturday will see their faint title hopes vanish into the abyss, despite only City having more victories in the league this season.
Those title hopes were dealt a serious blow on Wednesday in Leicester’s 1-0 win in the FA Cup over Brighton. Promising young defender James Justin suffered an ACL tear, and will miss the remainder of the season. Justin is a versatile player who has slotted at every defensive spot this season, and scored a goal in a recent 2-0 win over Fulham.
Beyond the impact of losing such a valuable piece of the lineup, his absence is amplified when you consider defenders Wes Morgan, Wesley Fofana, and Timothy Costagne are also battling injury. While Leicester should have a strong defensive unit for Saturday’s match, their margin for error is thin and rotation for Europa League becomes an issue. However, the return of defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi will be a huge boost.
If Brendan Rodgers is to avoid defeat to his former club for the first time in four tries, he will need to reverse Leicester’s home form. Their five home defeats matches a career high for Rodgers with any club, as the Foxes have been a superior team away from King Power Stadium this season. The one bright spot at home this season has been the play of midfielder James Maddison, who has scored four goals and assisted on two more in their last six home league matches.
Liverpool may rotate with eye on Champions League
Meanwhile, the hopes of repeating as Premier League champions were given a eulogy last week as Liverpool suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City. Now they turn their eye towards maintaining a top-four spot while also navigating the Champions League knockout stages. With that in mind, Jurgen Klopp may rotate the squad ahead of their match in Budapest with RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Much like Leicester, Liverpool have been much better away than at home. Liverpool visits King Power Stadium having scored three goals in each of their last two away matches, against West Ham and Tottenham.
Liverpool have had a week to rest and regroup after the City defeat, but Fabinho has been ruled out of the match with a muscle injury. This means that Jordan Henderson will likely have to remain at CB, with one of their new signings at defender, Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies, filling the other role. This could leave them quite exposed to the speed and movement of Jamie Vardy in counter attack.
As for going forward, Thiago Alcantara is expected to be ready to go, with Liverpool’s big three leading the line. Mohamed Salah scored City’s only goal last week on a questionable penalty call, but it was just his third goal in Liverpool’s last nine league matches. During that same stretch, Bobby Firmino has just one goal, and Sadio Mane has also scored just three times with an assist. It will be key that the midfield can find ways to get them more involved in the final third.
Trends and free betting advice
Liverpool have defeated Leicester in six of their last seven meetings across all competitions, and have led at both halftime and fulltime in five of those matchups. Liverpool have also scored at least two goals in six of those seven meetings. The total has been three or higher in six of their last seven matchups.
Leicester have lost just once in their last 10 Premier League matches, and the total has gone under three goals in five of their last six matches in the league.
The last two meetings between Leicester and Liverpool have seen the Reds outscore the Foxes 7-0, including a 3-0 victory for Liverpool in the reverse fixture. Neither team is in terrific form, but the loss of Fabinho in the build-up makes things very tricky for Liverpool to keep another clean sheet.
I could see this match going either way, but I don’t see it being a terribly low-scoring affair with the issues in defense for both teams. My gut says we will likely see a draw, but I also think Leicester could steal the match, especially if Liverpool rotates for Champions League. Roll with the Asian handicap to account for both results, while taking the Over.
As for a player prop, Jamie Vardy has not scored in his last four league meetings with Liverpool, in large part due to the play of Virgil Van Dijk. However, in the previous five league matchups between the two clubs, Vardy has found the net six times. With Liverpool’s issues at the back, I like the streaky striker to get back to his scoring ways with a great value bet.