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Shakespeare in charge of Leicester for Liverpool test

Jamie Vardy scored twice when Leicester won this fixture just over a year ago

TEAM NEWS

Leicester City have no new injury concerns ahead of their first game since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

Caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare will assess the fitness of Islam Slimani and Leonardo Ulloa, who are still nursing respective groin and thigh problems.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren could miss a third successive game because of a knee injury.

Daniel Sturridge is still suffering the effects of a virus but Ragnar Klavan has fully recovered from illness.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Simon Brotherton: “Last year’s sweet smell of success surrounding Leicester City has been replaced by an air of bitterness following the abrupt sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

“While the decision has polarised opinion, there’s no doubt the title defence has been feeble and their Premier League future was beginning to look less secure with every passing week.

“Nonetheless, I’d be surprised not to hear his name ring out around the stadium tonight.

“Since the Italian’s departure last Thursday the team have slipped into the bottom three for the first time and, with the focus now sharply on the underperforming players, they could hardly face a tougher test than the one Liverpool are likely to give them.”

Twitter:@SimonBrotherton

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Leicester City caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare: “In terms of getting teams prepared, I’d like to think my man-management style can do that. There are enough games there and this squad are good enough to get themselves out of this – that will be the message.

“Momentum is a big word in football. We had that last year. What I would say is they’ve trained well over the last few weeks especially. We’ve refocused ourselves.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “Probably the [Leicester] players have to show a few things and they [will] want to. It is obvious to not let them.

“You saw the Champions League game [against Sevilla in midweek] and the reaction after they scored: it was like two different games before and after they scored.

“Maybe they can keep this and then we have to make it not too easy for them to bring it on the pitch or to not let their confidence grow.

“If we play our best, we will be difficult to play against whoever.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

There is no doubt there will be more of a unified effort from the Leicester team, whether their new manager is in place or not. It always happens.

I still think Liverpool will win, if they play like they did against Tottenham.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v Let it Shine judge Martin Kemp

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Leicester won this fixture 2-0 last season with Jamie Vardy scoring twice, but that is their only victory in the last nine Premier League meetings (D2, L6).
  • Liverpool claimed a 4-1 victory when these teams met in September and could beat the Foxes home and away in the same season for the first time since 2001-02.

Leicester City

  • The Foxes have lost their last five league games – the only previous reigning top-flight champions to lose six in a row was Everton in 1928-29.
  • Leicester have kept just two clean sheets in their last 22 games in all competitions, and none in their last 10.
  • They are the only team in the top five European leagues not to have scored a league goal in 2017 – they have gone six games without a goal.
  • Leicester could equal the club record of seven league matches without a goal, set in the old Division Two between November 1987 and January 1988.
  • Jamie Vardy’s goal against Sevilla ended his nine-match barren streak. He has scored in just one of his last 18 Premier League games.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool’s victory over Tottenham in their last match ended a winless run of five league games.
  • The Reds have gone three matches without an away win in the Premier League (D2, L1).
  • Sadio Mane has been directly involved in 15 Premier League goals, more than any other Liverpool player this season (11 goals, four assists).
  • Adam Lallana has failed to score or provide an assist in his six league appearances in 2017 after supplying four goals and four assists in his final seven league matches last year.
SAM’s verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 24%
Probability of home win: 30% Probability of away win: 46%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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