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Liverpool vs Leicester: Predicted Line-Up

Another weekend has arrived which means another important match for Liverpool. Now the expectation of back to back Premier League titles is more or less out of the equation, the next task at hand is securing Champions League football next season.

The question on everyone's lips is 'Who will be the centre-back pairing', this match unlike many others there is a sense of expectation and intrigue as both deadline day signings Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies are in contention of a start.

Leicester City's King Power Stadium has often been a happy hunting ground for the Reds, most notably a season defining 4-1 Boxing Day win over the Foxes last year saw their title hopes and credentials skyrocket.

We have asked the LFCTR Writers, who they feel should start in the Midlands.

How should Liverpool line-up?

Jadine Leecocke

I think for Saturday’s game Alisson will keep his place because at the end of the day he’s a world class goalkeeper with a ton of experience and dropping him could lower his confidence.

I see one of our new centre backs starting and Ozan Kabak seems more likely to. He has played against top strikers in the Bundesliga this season and therefore has experience in defending against quick and potent strikers. With Fabinho out I suspect Jordan Henderson to play alongside him.

I think Wijnaldum will play in the number six role to allow Thiago to play in his preferred number eight role which will give him the freedom to unlock Leicester’s defence.

Mohammad Salah is in form and once again needs to be on it to beat Leicester‘s defence which I can see him doing if he and Roberto Firmino link up well. Likewise with Mané on the opposite flank.

Predicted Liverpool XI

Predicted Line-Up (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Kabak, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Thiago; Mané, Firmino, Salah.

Will Morley

Despite an unfavourable score line, there were positives to take from Liverpool’s loss to Manchester City. Without some uncharacteristic mistakes, things could have been a lot different. However, I expect changes to be made, considering Liverpool’s all important Champions League tie against RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

I also think Klopp will hand Ozan Kabak his debut on Saturday. This would be excellent preparation for the game against RB Leipzig, a side the Turk has faced during his spells at Schalke and Stuttgart. Due to Fabinho’s recent muscle injury, Henderson may be forced to remain at the back.

Following his impressive display on the weekend, Curtis Jones should start in midfield alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Thiago. However, James Milner could start ahead of the latter, who has looked off the pace recently. There is an argument to rest the former Bayern maestro on Saturday and reintroduce him against Leipzig. Playing against familiar, German opposition may click everything into place.

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Liverpool looked rusty in the final third against City. With an eye on Tuesday’s crucial game in Hungary, Klopp may opt for freshening things up. Roberto Firmino looks exhausted, so I think he will be replaced by Xerdan Shaqiri, who has that game-changing pass in his artillery.

Predicted Liverpool XI

Predicted Line-Up (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Jones; Shaqiri, Salah, Mane

Danny Corcoran

I fully expect Ozan Kabak to make his full Liverpool debut on Saturday. He’s had a full week of training with the team and will have a good idea of what Klopp expects from his defenders. Unfortunately with Fabinho confirmed as our we’ll likely see Henderson drop back as a makeshift CB once again.

While there was some panic over the absence of Thiago in training photos this week, I’d still expect him to start here. Curtis Jones has played well when on the pitch in recent weeks, which could see him from the start here. His ability to drive with the ball could be key to Liverpool’s fluidity in attack.

The front three have been underwhelming as of late, but with a lack of options on the bench I think we’ll see them backed to play their way out bad form. Mané in particular will be looking to get back amongst the goals after scoring only once so far in the league in 2021.

Predicted Liverpool XI

Predicted Line Up (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Jones, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Tom Johnson

With Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies having had sufficient time now to settle on Merseyside, while considering Fabinho’s latest setback, it’s time we see both new recruits.

Freeing Jordan Henderson into the midfield as a result, will be of immense relief to Jurgen Klopp.

His intensity in the middle has been sorely missed. The ability to cover the full-backs, should also provide Liverpool with greater offensive fluidity. The rest of the side picks itself for me.

Predicted Liverpool XI

Predicted Line Up (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Davies Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Stephen Killen

With the disappointing news that makeshift Brazilian centre-back Fabinho is out, the opportunity to start both debutants is now.

They may have only had about two weeks of training, which for two defenders without any Premier League isn't merely enough, they have to start.

It's disappointing that we won't see Fab alongside Thiago, Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum but this gives an opportunity for the other three to stake their claim as a midfield trio for the remainder of the season.

However, Curtis Jones impressed me from the off last week and has to start this week. Although as one of our highest earners, Thiago should be the first sub introduced after the hour mark.

Full-backs and strike partners to remain unchanged as we embark on difficult February fixtures.

Predicted Liverpool XI

Predicted Starting XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Davies, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.