News ID: 263410
Published: 0148 GMT December 24, 2019

Liverpool to face Vardy threat on festive return to domestic action

Liverpool to face Vardy threat on festive return to domestic action

Liverpool, newly crowned Club World Cup winners, returns to its main task — fighting for its first league title in 30 years — when it faces its closest challenger Leicester City on Thursday.

The Boxing Day clash of the top-two, at Leicester’s King Power Stadium, headlines a full program of festive fixtures and despite Leicester’s 3-1 reverse at Manchester City on Saturday, Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp is aware of the dangers that his side faces, Reuters reported.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who was replaced by Klopp at Anfield, has built a team that has won as many games as Pep Guardiola’s City, 12 out of 18. Foxes have lost just three times and in Jamie Vardy they have the league’s top scorer with 17 goals.

“We will try (to stop Vardy). He’s a massive striker, an exceptional striker. One of the top three since I’ve been in England,” said Klopp.

“He’s difficult to defend, always on the shoulder... playing the offside line, really dangerous. The only thing you can do is avoid the passes to him and that’s what we’ll try.

“But Leicester is not only Jamie Vardy. Brendan has done an excellent job there and they’re a proper top class team. The quality they have is exceptional,” added the German.

Klopp will need to draw on his strength in depth given that midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered an ankle injury in the extra-time win over Flamengo in the Club World Cup final in Qatar.

With Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Brazilian Fabinho all sidelined, Joe Gomez is likely to partner Virgil van Dijk in the center of defense.


‘Bump in the road’


Rodgers, meanwhile, insisted Leicester's recent loss to City was just a "bump in the road" as his side prepares for the visit of Liverpool.

Leicester pushed Liverpool all the way before going 2-1 at Anfield thanks to James Milner's disputed late penalty and then went on to win its next eight games, AFP reported.

"We have a fantastic resilience and we've shown that in a number of months but when you lose a game it's always difficult," said Rodgers.

"It's my job as the leader to ensure it doesn't get the players too down. We're a humble group, we want to be better and we understand part of that development is you are going to lose games."

The former Liverpool boss added, "That'll happen, it's a case of reflecting on it. We always believe in the process but when there's a bump in the road we never get too down about it.

"We're thinking about bringing a performance to the game which can get us three points.

"Our objectives are very much the same, we want to continue developing as a team and we still have a lot more to do to get to the level we want to be."

Meanwhile Rodgers played down suggestions Liverpool would be tired as a result of travelling back from Qatar.

"It is a fantastic achievement, it's a great status to have so very well done to them," said the Foxes boss.

"We're at home, we want to bring our true game – we know it's going to be difficult but it'll be a great test for us.

"They will come back on a high and will continue with the work they've shown in the last couple of years."





Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/9085 sec