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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Leicester could give Klopp another Liverpool headache

Reds expected to rest key men

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been poor at the back
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League Cup third round
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Tuesday

Jurgen Klopp was pleased to see the back of one of the worst weeks of his Anfield reign, but there is every possibility that this one could begin where the last left off.

And if Liverpool lose at Leicester in round three of the League Cup, he'll have nobody to blame but himself.

The manager picks the team and with Premier League and Champions League commit­ments proving to be Klopp's autumnal obsession, expect a wholesale reshuffle.

That will make good sense to some with another trip to the King Power to come on Saturday followed three days later by a visit to Moscow to take on Spartak. But others feel that the League Cup is winnable and many of his established first-team stars should be back in action to make amends for the flop at Manchester City and disappointing draws against Sevilla and Burnley.

The fact that Liver­pool won't be at full strength gives Leicester a far better chance of beating them than odds of 21-10 would have you believe. True, Craig Shakespeare will also swap a few around but they don't have Europe as a distraction this season and looked focused and up for the cup when winning 4-1 at Sheffield United in round two.

They also have a poor perform­ance to get out of their system following a lacklustre 1-1 draw at Huddersfield. And like Liver­pool, they are winless in three.

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But they still look overpriced against the eight-time winners whose headline absentees are Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne with several others set to be rested.

Leicester have the pace to be able to trouble a defence who have shipped 14 goals this season.

But the Foxes also know that their defence will be tested, with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke chomping at the bit for a run-out.

Liverpool have no problem carving out chances – they've created 71 openings, two more than Manchester United, who have scored seven more goals.

Expect an open game. Leicester's League Cup ties historically are, and the two league meetings between these sides in 2016-17 yielded nine goals. Liverpool's matches this term average 3.9 goals.

It may not be a bad idea to back over 3.5 goals at 7-4.

3pts 21-10 general
Over 3.5 goals
2pts 7-4 Betfred, Hills, Paddy Power

Bet on this game at

Team news
Jamie Vardy, Matty James and Christian Fuchs have knocks. Robert Huth is still out.

Sadio Mane is banned. Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are injured. Danny Ings could return from a layoff.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in 18 of Leicester’s last 21 League Cup ties

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Leicester don't have Europe as a distraction and looked focused and up for the cup when winning 4-1 at Sheffield United in round two
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