FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) takes a look at Wednesday night's contest between Premier League leaders Liverpool and Leicester.
Liverpool v Leicester | Wednesday 30th January 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
With Manchester City playing on Tuesday night, the pressure could be on Liverpool here, with the possibility of the gap between 1st and 2nd becoming just one point.
After that defeat to City in the league, Jurgen Klopp’s side bounced back with consecutive league wins against Brighton and Crystal Palace. Both were by just the one goal and the Reds looked a little nervy, so this will be a test to see if they can get back to their best.
Liverpool just don’t lose at home in the Premier League nowadays, with their last league defeat coming against Crystal Palace over 21 months and 32 games ago. They also kept 21 clean sheets in that time and conceding just 16 goals. This made the three goals they conceded against Crystal Palace last weekend even more surprising, but the Eagles had an xG of just 0.82, highlighting Liverpool’s defensive capabilities.
There could be a huge dent in their defence against Leicester however, with Virgil Van Dijk facing a late fitness test. Liverpool already have Joe Gomez crocked and James Milner suspended, whilst Dejan Lovren and Fabinho remains, meaning Joel Matip could be alongside a makeshift partner at right-back and centre-half.
I’m slightly surprised that, in the current climate of trigger-happy owners, Claude Puel is still Leicester City manager. The Foxes enduring a shocking run of form, with four losses in their last five games. Miraculously, their only wins in their last 11 games have been against Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City, showing just how crazy the Premier League can be.
Leicester’s recent away form has been a mixed bag to say the least (W3-D2-L3) but they seem to have no problem in finding the back of the net, scoring in all but two of their games away from the King Power this season.
Just like Liverpool, Leicester’s rock at the back could be out, as Harry Maguire faces a late fitness test. It looks like the England central defender will be available, which could be a huge boost for Claude Puel’s side.
The betting angle
I’m going to take a slightly unique angle here, but one I think could be a profitable one. In their 12 away games, Leicester have scored exactly one goal in 7 of those games (58%) and 11/23 (48%) of their total Premier League games.
With Liverpool’s potential makeshift defence, I think Leicester can grab a goal, but can’t see it being more than the single one. You can get Leicester to score exactly one goal at 17/10 with Ladbrokes.
Liverpool v Leicester – Leicester to score exactly one goal (17/10 Ladbrokes)