Over the last 12 months, Liverpool and Leicester have suffered contrasting fortunes. The Reds ended their 30-year drought to win the top flight of English football, whereas Brendan Rodgers’ side saw a capitulation after ‘Project Restart’ which saw the Foxes fall into the Europa League places.
This season is no different. As COVID continues to provide undisputed obstacles and challenges, the beautiful game continues. Leicester continue to occupy the Champions League positions as they did a season ago.
However, a midseason collapse from Liverpool saw Jurgen Klopp’s side relinquish their position at the summit of the Premier League.
They now sit in fourth with just a points clarity over fifth-placed Chelsea. A mere eight points separate the Reds and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United in. 10th.
The two clubs lock horns for the second time this season as Liverpool look to take over Leicester’s occupation of third place whilst the 2015-16 Premier League winner eye second place as a win could see them overtake Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s Manchester United.
If you were to combine the two sides and create a Liverpool-Leicester hybrid, how would it look? Based on this season’s performance, current situation and preference Stephen Killen (@SteKillenLFC) has a go.
Liverpool/Leicester Combined XI
GK: Alisson Becker
Irrespective of his two howlers from Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City, the Brazilian shot stopper has been brilliant for Liverpool this season.
He rightly so came underfire with his mistakes at the weekend, but despite this he has been a key player for the reigning Champions.
Foxes’ cat Kasper Schmeichel deserves a mention, he too has been incredible this season. He made a brilliant save against Leeds United to add to his repertoire of eye-catching performances for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
But, Alisson just pips him to this spot.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool’s 66 hasn’t been at his best this season but we have seen a resurgence in form, in recent weeks.
Alexander-Arnold provides an outlet for the Reds with his menacing runs down the line and his expertise from wide-positions.
He netted his first goal of the season at the end of January with a well-struck goal against Tottenham Hotspur, the strike had shades of his strike over the Foxes on Boxing Day, last season.
CB: Wesley Fofana
Liverpool’s defensive problems are well documented and this 20-year-old Frenchman has enjoyed his spell in the first team.
Fofana is a decent defender winning 59% of tackles in his 19 appearances this season.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip sidelined for the rest of the season, the youngster takes one of the centre-back positions.
He is expected to be sidelined until March, although Caglar Soyuncu cuts an intimidating figure, I prefer Fofana.
CB: Jordan Henderson
Had Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies made their Liverpool debuts and impressed, they may have featured here.
Fabinho has suffered another injury problem which allows Jordan Henderson to filter in as a centre half. His spell on the sidelines is the reason the Liverpool skipper takes the final position.
Although he is missed further forward in the midfield, for all intents and purposes he’ll pop in alongside Fofana.
LB: Andy Robertson
Arguably Liverpool’s player of the season, Andy Robertson fully deserves his place in this team.
He’s one of the best in the league for his position and in recent weeks has been a star performer in what has been a poor run of games for the Champions.
James Justin has been impressive this season and is an honourable mention for this team with his best years ahead of him.
CM: Youri Tielemans
Leicester tend to set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with the Belgian playing defensively.
Tielemans often marauds forward, something that has caught the eye of many which has seen calls for him to be on Liverpool’s list of targets.
I will get a lot of stick for picking Tielemans over Wijnaldum, but the fact of the matter is Liverpool have lacked goals from midfield, something the 23-year-old has contributed to during Leicester’s season.
He has five goals in 23 matches, for this article I think he is suited to Liverpool’s number six position.
The former Bayern Munich midfielder hasn’t hit the heights of expected of him so far in his Anfield career.
I expect him to reach the potential and match performances that saw him earn the move to the Premier League champions and the hype that followed.
Liverpool’s defensive struggles have had an affect on the Spaniards performances and he has mostly taken it upon himself to be the main outlet from midfield which has seen his come in to some unwarranted criticism.
There is potential there for the 29-year-old at the Reds which is why I feature him here.
CM: James Maddison
One of the certainties this I feel.
The promising English midfielder has took the Premier League by storm this season.
His unbelievable goal against Manchester City earned him goal of the month.
As his qualities list on; his eye-catching flair, tricky movement and his ability from a dead ball situation pinpoint his danger making him a worthy addition.
RW: Mohamed Salah
A key player for Liverpool, the Egyptian crops up at the right time and provides the goods.
Slightly predictable in the sense he will almost always look to cut inside, give him a moments space and you’ll be made to rue your mistakes.
ST: Jamie Vardy
His meteoric rise saw him round off a brilliant season with a Premier League winners medal in 2015/16.
Jamie Vardy capitalises on teams pushing for an equaliser or winner with his pace in behind but he can also hold up play and score in different ways which add to his threat.
Roberto Firmino hasn’t been in that great of form recently which sees him miss out, although he does love a goal at the King Power Stadium.
With Diogo Jota missing, had he been fit he would of been a worthy consideration to the squad.
LW: Sadio Mané
Liverpool lack when he isn’t on the pitch and they benefit when he is on it.
It’s clear to see the strengths the Senegalese forward possesses and he gave the Leicester backline a torrid time in November at Anfield.
On his day, the Reds number 10 is unplayable.
Do you agree?
Who would you say deserves to be in this combined squad?
Check out who the LFCTR YouTube boys picked in their Combined XI.