15th May, 2023 @ 10:21 am
Leicester City are chasing the pack in the Premier League (PL) survival chase after a three-game winless streak (D2, L1) meant they'd head into another gameweek in the relegation zone. Their defense has been their evident Achilles' heel in their struggle against the drop, with no clean sheets in their previous 20 Premier League games (W3, D4, L13).
That has been extremely unpleasant for their frontline, who have generally contributed by scoring in ten of their 17 winless games, and they will have felt aggrieved again in their most recent excursion against Fulham, where Leicester lost 5-3. That poses a problem for manager Dean Smith, who will be unhappy to be preparing to play Liverpool after losing four of his five PL H2Hs (W1) in his management tenure.
The likelihood of his agony prolonging is made even more alarming by the fact that Liverpool has won six straight games, though each of the previous five have come by narrow one-goal margins, as was the case in the opposite encounter when they won 2-1. Jürgen Klopp's team has since firmly established themselves in fifth place, creating the groundwork for a late assault on the top four.
Such form would ordinarily be unnecessary at this point in the season, but the Reds' poor away form this season has cost them dearly. They've collected more than double the number of points at home (43) than on the road (19), and the disparity would have been even greater if they hadn't won their past two road games.
Players to watch: Leicester's survival hopes may lie on the shoulders of club icon Jamie Vardy, who will aim to add to his ten goals versus Liverpool in the last 13 encounters. For the opposition, Mohamed Salah is a single strike away from being the first Liverpool player since Roger Hunt in the early 1960s to score 20 or more league goals in three consecutive seasons.
Liverpool last lost a Premier League match when leading at halftime in December 2016, going 123 games unbeaten since (W113, D10).