24 Dec 2015

Liverpool-XI vs. Leicester: Double injury boost; Klopp to drop £65m-trio? Surprise start for Teixeira

After four games without a win, it's absolutely essential for to get back to winning ways over the Christmas period, but the games aren't getting any easier, and with league-leaders Leicester City up next, Liverpool are in the curious situation of going into the game as underdogs on their own ground.

Leicester are *unbeaten* away from home this season, and with only *one* defeat all season, Liverpool will have to put in a top class performance to win the game.

Klopp's pre-match updates:

On Skrtel: "Martin is a tough guy, but it’s going to be a few weeks. It’s really bad for us".

On Lovren: "Lovren is back in training, and he's trained normally for the last 5/6 days. He’s available for Leicester".

On Sturridge: "Daniel is still doing intensive training. He has to train for 8, 9 or 10 days".

On Milner: "No chance for Milner. No one knows where it came from. It’ll be one or two weeks".

On Mignolet: "Mignolet is back. He’s trained normally".

My preferred lineup:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ------ Toure -- Sakho ------ Moreno
------------- Lucas - Hendo
--- Teixeira --- Coutinho --- Origi
--------------- Benteke

* As the last game showed, rushing a central defender back after injury can lead to disastrous consequences, so Klopp should (IMO) be cautious with Lovren. Having two recently-injured defenders in the same team is a recipe for disaster.

* Kolo Toure is available, so there's no need to gamble on Lovren, and after the horror show against Watford, Sakho will (hopefully) return to form.

* Lallana surely has to be dropped! I say this every game, but Klopp persists with one of the club's most frustrating transfer flops. Against Watford, Lallana failed to step-up once again, and Liverpool suffered.

* The club's last four results also make an absolute mockery of spurious fan contention than Lallana deserves to be in the team due to his pressing/defending. Nonsense. What difference did that make in the last four games?

* If Benteke is in the team, Liverpool should play 4231. In a 4321, Benteke is often isolated as there are only two attacking midfielders behind him, and one of those will drift out wide to provide width (leaving Benteke, plus one AM available in the box).

* Plus, the extra midfielder who's actually capable of getting into the box (Milner, for example) is often too far behind the play to make up ground and support. With three AMs behind Benteke, one of the attackers can focus on width (along with the full-backs) and the other two can be more central and *close* to Benteke when Liverpool attack.

* Teixeira trained with the first team on Thursday, so perhaps Klopp will spring a major surprise and bring the youngster into the team (or the bench). Right now, Lallana and Firmino do not deserve to to be in the starting lineup.


You have until Saturday 3PM (GMT) to make your predictions. League tables will be updated after the Leicester game (to include the Watford scores).

* 20 Points: First goalscorer (Can be for either team).

* 20 Points: Liverpool player with the most *lowest* passing accuracy.

* 30 Points: Collective number of fouls conceded by Liverpool.

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + first goalscorer + lowest passing accuracy (Possible points total: 120)

* The Sgt. Jericho 'Action' Jackson Mega-Bonus: 100 points for Perfect score + first goalscorer + passing accuracy + fouls conceded (Possible points total: 200)\

Good luck!

Author: Jaimie K


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