The unthinkable becomes a reality
The football world is still in shock following the news that Claudio Ranieri, the man who masterminded the greatest of triumphs when he guided Leicester City to the Premier League title, has been sacked by the reigning champions.
The Foxes secured a precious away goal in Sevilla on Wednesday evening that may yet be enough to help them book a place in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League but less than 24 hours later, Ranieri’s shock departure was announced.
It will be fascinating to see how Leicester’s fans and players react, when they take on Liverpool in the Monday Night Football.
Goal Projections – Leicester City 0.95 Liverpool 1.80
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Team news & Predicted starting line-ups for Leicester City v Liverpool
Leicester may well find themselves in the relegation zone by the time kick-off comes around, so Assistant Manager Craig Shakespeare and First Team Coach Mike Stowell, who have been put in charge until a new manager is found, will at least be hoping that the Foxes can find their first league goal of the calendar year against Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
The Reds have enjoyed the luxury of a mid-season break and will be looking to build up some momentum, after seeing off Spurs in impressive fashion last time out.
Leicester City team news
Islam Slimani faces a race against time to be fit for Monday’s encounter, while fellow striker Leonardo Ulloa is not expected to feature.
Demarai Gray and Daniel Amartey will both be hoping that they did enough in their cameo appearances in Spain, to displace either Ahmed Musa or Marc Albrighton from the starting line-up.
Leicester City fantasy player to watch
Jamie Vardy scored his first Champions League goal against Sevilla but the England striker, who found the net 24 times in the Premier League last season, has just 5 league goals to show for his efforts this season, 3 of which came in December’s home match against Manchester City.
Vardy’s WhoScored rating has nose-dived from 7.51 in the last Premier League campaign to a disappointing 6.49 this time around.
Predicted starting line-up for Leicester v Liverpool
Liverpool team news
Klopp is expected to go with his trademark 4-3-3 but he has a few defensive headaches to overcome. Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva are both rated extremely doubtful, so the Liverpool manager may ask Emre Can to step in alongside Joël Matip in the centre of his defence.
Daniel Sturridge may secure a spot on the bench, if he recovers from his latest injury set-back.
Liverpool fantasy player to watch
Philippe Coutinho hasn’t scored or assisted in his last 7 Premier League starts but this could be the perfect opportunity to end that sequence.
Liverpool will need their ‘number 10′ to be at his best for the remainder of the campaign, if they are to stave off stiff competition and secure one of those coveted Champions League’ spots.
Predicted starting line up for Liverpool v Leicester City
It promises to be an emotional night at the King Power Stadium. Can Leicester City rise to the occasion and put in a performance that would make Claudio Ranieri proud?