Leicester vs Liverpool preview, betting tips and predictions: Defensive frailties could cost Reds at King Power

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Leicester to win and BTTS @ 11/2 with Paddy Power

Score draw @ 7/2 with Paddy Power

Liverpool to win 2-1 @ 15/2 with Paddy Power

Leicester’s season turned on a victory at home to Liverpool in February. It camw after the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, just nine months after he helped lead the Foxes to the Premier League title in 2015/16. They had been sleepwalking towards a disastrous relegation, but the 3-1 win that night inspired great form until the end of the season.

Craig Shakespeare has gone from loyal backbencher to main man in that time, and although Leicester have only won one game so far this season, they will be a real threat to Jurgen Klopp’s side. Liverpool are suffering very much from the same issues they did last season, particularly against the lesser sides. Their weakness lies in defence, notably set pieces and stopping counter attacks. Leicester utilised their ability on the break to great effect last season, taking the game away from Liverpool early on. With Jamie Vardy likely to come up against Dejan Lovren, who gets very little protection from the Liverpool midfield, it is eaay to understand why we see so much value in backing Leicester scoring on Saturday. Given how the Reds have already dropped points to the likes of Watford and Burnley, seeing a repeat of last season’s result is far from out of the question and worth a bet at 11/2.

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Liverpool are still without Sadio Mane who is serving his ban for that controversial red card against Manchester City. As their chief attacking threat, the Senegalese winger is crucial to the way they play, and without him they are much easier to contain. Yet, Philippe Coutinho could continue and his inclusion would supplement Mane’s absence with added flair. He may even start out wide opposite Mohamed Salah, who will offer much needed width, which would previously have been absent whenever Mane was. Liverpool carry an obvious threat in attack with either Daniel Sturridge, who will look to stretch the Leicester defence by running in behind, or Roberto Firmino, who will drop deeper and create space for his teammates. Liverpool will be favourites, but they must play at their best, starting fast and forcing the issue with caution. They have the quality to edge out Leicester 2-1, which is on offer at 15/2 with Paddy Power.

Key battle: Andy King vs Emre Can 

Where Liverpool may have some joy this year, as opposed to last year, is in midfield. Danny Drinkwater was a driving force for the hosts that night, scoring the opener and keeping the game ticking along, just as he did on all occasions Leicester played well. He didn’t give the Liverpool midfield space to dominate the ball or apply their trademark pressure, but he has been sold to Chelsea and his likely stand in, Andy King, will not offer the same service.

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The Welshman prefers to get forward and combine with the attackers and when Leicester have chance to counter attack he may be effective, but he will not bring the discipline of Drinkwater and that could allow Can to dictate the play instead, supplying the likes of Coutinho with the ball in dangerous positions.

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