Leicester City vs Liverpool Preview: Foxes look to return to winning ways in Boxing Day showdown

Leicester City host league leaders Liverpool at the King Power Stadium in a Premier League top of the table clash.

The Foxes will be looking to return to winning ways after their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, while Liverpool's unbeaten run in the league remains as strong as ever after eight successive victories, most recently beating Watford 2-0

A victory for Leicester would see them close the gap to Liverpool to seven points, with the Reds still with a game in hand, while a win for the Merseyside club will signify a huge step in winning their maiden Premier League trophy by surely taking Leicester out of the race.

Key Battle

Leicester will look to one man in particular if they are to win this game and that is to Jamie Vardy.

The Foxes' talisman has bagged 17 goals in 18 league games this season and has scored five goals in his last three home matches against the visitors.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is the Red's standout defender and will be key in nullifying the threat of Vardy as they look to record their fifth clean sheet of the season.

Last Meeting

The last meeting between the sides came in October and ended with late drama.

The Reds looked comfortable in the match and after a Sadio Mane opener in the 40th minute, looked to be cruising to a win against the high-flying Foxes.

James Maddison's 80th minute strike looked as if Leicester has snatched an unlikely point at Anfield, until Mane won a penalty in the closing stages.

James Milner dispatched the penalty in the 95th minute and a brawl occured in the aftermath due to celebrations of the late winner.

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Team News

Leicester will have to assess the fitness of Harvey Barnes after the winger sustained an ankle injury against Manchester City.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out after damaging ligaments to his ankle at the Fifa Club World Cup, while Fabinho, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren all remain out with respective injuries.

Predicted Line-ups

Leicester: Schmeichel; Ricardo, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison; Gray, Vardy, Perez

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita; Mane, Firmino, Salah

Managers' Comments

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers doesn't believe that Liverpool's potential fatigue will play a part in the match.

He stated in his pre-match press conference: "It’s a difficult game for us. We want to bring our true game. It’s a great measure for us. I think they’ll come back on a real high.

We had a really good game at Anfield and we should have come out of that game with a draw. We’re playing at home so the intensity of the crowd should help us as well."

When asked whether a loss would end his side's title hopes, the Northern Irishman responded: "It’s not what we’re thinking about. There’s a gap that’s already difficult to overcome looking at how many points Liverpool have dropped.

"We still have a lot more to do to get to a level we want to be."

When speaking in his own pre-match press conference, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addressed Vardy and what his side will try to do to supress his threat.

"We will try [to stop him scoring]. The only problem we have is it's not only Jamie.

"He is a massive threat obviously. He's an exceptional striker what can you say? Since I'm in England he's one of the top three. He's always scoring, he's difficult to defend, always on your shoulder running at your back playing the offside line. Really, really dangerous.

He added: "The only thing you can do in football is try and avoid as many passes as you can to him and that's what we'll try.

"Leicester is not only Jamie Vardy. Brendan has done an excellent job there."