Liverpool will look to achieve revenge over Leicester City, the side that knocked them out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, when they face them again in the Saturday night Premier League offering.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are in desperate need of a win after a difficult period, but will know that the three points will have to be earned.
Liverpool had chances aplenty on Tuesday, particularly in the first half, but were unable to score, a toxic mixture when combined with a suspect defence.
When Shinji Okazaki entered the fray after an unfortunate injury to Leonardo Ulloa, he showed them how to be clinical and won the game with a goal and an assist.
The teams that line up on Saturday will be much different to those fielded in the cup with both managers expected to ring the changes.
For Liverpool, first-choice defensive partnership Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are both likely to be sidelined, although both will undergo last-minute fitness tests, which will only increase the scrutiny on Klopp’s decision not to sign a central defender over the summer.
Adam Lallana has begun running again this week at Melwood but is not close to returning just yet.
Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, not even on the bench midweek, will come straight back into the side, whilst Okazaki might have earned a start for the Foxes.
Riyad Mahrez will also start, although Jamie Vardy is touch-and-go having not quite fully recovered from a recent injury.
The league is the main priority for both teams and the line-ups and changes made from Tuesday will reflect that.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who endured a difficult night on his first start for Liverpool, is likely to drop back to the bench, but Klopp is convinced that his early struggles are not something that will last.
“He had some unlucky situations and a little problem with his calf,” Klopp said, adding, “I’m not in doubt (about his quality)”.
On Liverpool’s – and his – criticism more generally, Klopp believes the media and fans have overreacted.
“It sounds like we have nil points and are the worst team in the league,” he said, but after a period of four games without a victory, that was always going to be the case.
Simple defensive errors and a seeming lack of learning from those mistakes is always going to infuriate those watching on.
The German, though, is more than aware that his team should be doing better.
“We responded really well to conceding the first goal against Sevilla and Burnley, but we didn’t against Leicester. I prefer not to concede the first goal.
“We are still fluent and still creative but we don’t score and that’s the problem. I need to help the players to stay positive”.
Nothing but three points would be sufficient to restore that confidence, but a win must arrive sooner rather than later or the pressure would really mount.
Liverpool face Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night, and next face Newcastle United at St James’ Park next weekend.
WHEN DOES THE GAME KICK OFF?
The match starts at 17:30 BST and is live on BT Sport in the UK.
WHO IS THE REFEREE?
Anthony Taylor – the Altrincham-born official is now a regular fixture in the Premier League and has appeared in European games too.
Taylor last saw Liverpool play on the opening day when they drew 3-3 at Vicarage Road against Watford. The Reds are unbeaten in the last six games he has refereed.
He is yet to oversee a game involving Leicester this season.
Leicester have won only two of their previous ten league games against Liverpool, although both of those victories have come in the last three meetings. Liverpool’s record over the last ten games in this fixture is won six and drawn two.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Klavan, Moreno; Henderson, Coutinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Sturridge, Firmino
Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mahrez, King, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Iheanacho
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