Liverpool vs Leicester City team news: Karius and 'Fab Four' start for the Reds

Liverpool vs Leicester City team news: Karius and 'Fab Four' start for the Reds

Liverpool make five changes, with Loris Karius replacing Simon Mignolet in goal as the most eye-catching alteration, while visitors Leicester City also make four changes.

Charlie Malam

Goalkeeper Loris Karius and the 'Fab Four' start for Liverpool as they host Leicester City at Anfield in both club's final matches of 2017 on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Karius replaces Simon Mignolet in goal despite having played only two of 20 Premier League games before this, though the German kept a clean sheet in both and also in three of his six Champions League appearances.

Despite Liverpool travelling to face a testing Burnley side away from home in just 48 hours' time, their fearsome forward line of 21-goal Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané also all start.

Salah, Firmino and Coutinho have been involved with a goal or an assist in 36 of Liverpool's 46 league goals this term, including 17 of the last 19.

Jürgen Klopp makes five changes from the rousing win here over Swansea City on Boxing Day, with Dejan Lovren returning to replace Ragnar Klavan, who had started all of their last six matches.

Trent Alexander-Arnold makes way for Joe Gomez at right-back while another goalscorer last time out, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, drops out for James Milner.

Georginio Wijnaldum is demoted to the bench, allowing Coutinho to return to a central midfield role with Mané looking to rediscover top form on the left side of their front three.

The Reds are without captain Jordan Henderson as well as left-back Alberto Moreno and long-term absentee Nathaniel Clyne. Striker Daniel Sturridge's absence continues after illness.

The visitors themselves make four changes from their defeat to Watford earlier in the week. 

Midfielder Daniel Amartey returns to the starting eleven after a one-match suspension and comes in at right-back with Aleksandar Dragović, who deputised there last time out, dropping to the bench.

Former Liverpool target Ben Chilwell is absent from the squad entirely with Christian Fuchs returning at left-back, while Vicente Iborra also returns in midfield.

Demarai Gray is the other player to return to the starting line-up with Shinji Okazaki benched and Andy King missing out.

Robert Huth (ankle) and Danny Simpson (hamstring) remain sidelined for the Foxes, though Matty James - absent since the start of September with an Achilles problem - is on the bench again after being an unused substitute against the Hornets.

Top-scorer Jamie Vardy, expectedly, leads the line having scored six of the last eight goals that Leicester have scored against Liverpool in the league.

Youngster George Thomas, without a first-team squad number, makes the bench and could make his senior debut at the age of 20.

Leicester face a sizeable task with Liverpool unbeaten in 11 league games, their joint-best run under Klopp, and 16 without defeat in all competitions at Anfield.

They have leaked just three goals in 10 league games on home soil so far this term, their joint-best tally with 2006-07 at this stage of a season.

The two sides have already faced each other twice this term, winning one game apiece back in September - Liverpool triumphing 3-2 in the reverse league fixture after a League Cup defeat.

The Merseyside outfit have not lost twice to Leicester in a single season since 1998-99 though as Liverpool boss Klopp has not lost to any team more than Leicester, with three defeats in five meetings.

The visitors have lost two of their last three league games, as many as in their previous 13 before that, but Claude Puel is looking to win on L4 with a third different club.

He has yet to lose in six meetings with Liverpool as Lyon and Southampton boss, keeping four clean sheets in four league and cup meetings with the Saints last term.


Full confirmed team news

Liverpool starting XI: Karius; Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Robertson; Can, Milner, Coutinho; Mané, Salah, Firmino.

Leicester City starting XI: Schmeichel; Amartey, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Iborra, Ndidi, Albrighton; Gray, Vardy.

Liverpool bench: Mignolet; Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke.

Leicester City bench: Hamer; Dragović, Slimani, Okazaki, James, Thomas, Musa.