Leicester City-Liverpool Preview

·3 min read

Jurgen Klopp has insisted there is nothing to say publicly about how Mohamed Salah may have contracted coronavirus, as the Liverpool boss continues to deal with a growing list of absences ahead of Sunday's clash with Leicester City.

Klopp had already lost Virgil van Dijk to a potentially season-ending injury, and now fellow centre-back Joe Gomez will miss much of the campaign after suffering a knee problem on international duty with England.

Captain Jordan Henderson will also miss Sunday's game, as will Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Salah is in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, though Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara may be fit.

Videos circulated of Salah dancing in a crowd at a wedding – reportedly that of his brother – but Klopp stated he has already spoken to the Liverpool star about the incident.

"He is probably back (Friday), that's what I have heard. As always with this, if there is a negative test then the process really starts," said Klopp. "He is in a good place, he feels well, no symptoms. That's all fine. There's nothing to say in public, all of the things I have to talk to my players about is nothing for the public.

"All of my players are incredibly disciplined – all football players are incredibly disciplined. There were some cases but they really know about the situation. All the rest is just between Mo and me. We did that already, so we are fine."

Leicester topped the league heading into the international break, though defender Christian Fuchs is wary that the Foxes' collapse at the end of last season cost them a place in the Champions League.

"It sounds great, but we're also aware that it's early doors," Fuchs told LCFC. "I think we learned from the end of last season that we need more consistency in our game, which we've definitely achieved."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Liverpool – Roberto Firmino

With Diogo Jota in such fine form, Firmino's position in Liverpool's front three has been called into question. However, the forward netted for Brazil during the international break and in Salah's absence has the chance to prove once more just how vital he is for Klopp, who has previously insisted there is no doubt over the former Hoffenheim man's importance.

Leicester City – Cengiz Under

Turkey winger Under is yet to make a league start for Leicester, but has provided two assists from three substitute appearances. While unlikely to feature from the off at Anfield, his pace and trickery gives Brendan Rodgers a quality option to call on from the bench.

KEY OPTA FACTS

• Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 63 Premier League home games, their joint-longest such run without defeat at home in the top-flight. Their previous run of 63 unbeaten home league matches between February 1978-December 1980 was eventually ended with defeat to Leicester in January 1981.

• Leicester have won six of their eight Premier League games this season (L2), as many as they had in their final 22 games last season (W6 D6 L10).

• The Reds have conceded first in each of their last three home Premier League games, but have come back to win each time – no side has ever done this in four consecutive Premier League home games before.

• Rodgers has lost both of his Premier League games against former side Liverpool since leaving the club in 2015. Indeed, managers to have previously taken charge of Liverpool in the Premier League have won just four of their 29 matches against them after leaving (D6 L19).

• Diogo Jota has scored in all three of his Premier League home games for the Reds so far – no player in the club's history has scored in each of their first four top-flight home games.

• Vardy has already netted eight goals in his seven Premier League appearances this season. Vardy has also scored seven goals in 11 Premier League games against Liverpool, with only Andy Cole (11) and Thierry Henry (eight) netting more against the Reds in the competition.