Liverpool will be aiming for a fourth consecutive Premier League win when they host Leicester on Friday, but Brendan Rodgers really needs a result for himself.
The Reds scored a priceless 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day as a much-needed return to form continued.
Meanwhile, Leicester lost to the high-flying Newcastle at the King Power Stadium, losing 3-0 and barely ahead of their rivals.
On Friday night, the Reds and Foxes will fight at Anfield, and the hosts must win this game.
Before the game, we spoke with Leicester fan Jamie Thorpe (@thorpie54) to find out the latest news about Foxes, Rodgers, Liverpool and much more.
How would you rate the start of Leicester’s season?
Poor, no matter how you look at it.
We had a disastrous transfer window: we lost Wesley Fofana late and signed only one fielder (Vout Faes) when we needed at least three signings to give the team the renewal it so desperately needs.
The disruption of the Fofana transfer saga cannot be underestimated, but even with this distraction, the start of the season for Leicester was simply terrible, with a set of basic mistakes, a terrible game, standard disasters and strange managerial decisions, which together gave us the worst start to any season in recent times.
Fortunately, thanks in no small part to the form of James Maddison and the arrival of coach Lars Knudsen, among others, we recovered a little, continuing a winless streak of seven and winning several vital victories to reach the dizzying heights of 13th.
Despite this run, it’s well below pre-season expectations and Brendan Rodgers and his players have been asked (rightly) serious questions.
Which Foxes player shone or was particularly bad?
Maddison’s form over the past 18 months has been exemplary, and this season he has found a completely different outfit.
When he is fit, he is almost unplayable and is a player who can influence the game at any time.
Leicester’s whole system is aimed at getting him to keep the ball in the areas where he can do the most damage, and it’s no surprise that he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves.
Harvey Barnes has shown bursts of his undoubted abilities, but so far remains an overconfident player, and Face has brought much-needed aggression to a team that is often criticized for excessive mercy.
At the other end of the scale, Danny Ward could not have imagined that when he finally became the undisputed number one at the club after so long as a deputy, he would endure such a hot time.
It is a testament to his character that he has managed to recover and show some amazing performances, but it is not yet known which Ward is the real one.
Daniel Amartey continues to move from the sublime to the ridiculous, seemingly at will, and fans never know if we’ll get 8/10 or 4/10 from game to game.
What have you done with Liverpool’s season?
Another mixed season, but your trajectory seems to be moving in a certain upward direction.
Shocking results, such as the defeat by Nottingham Forest, did not help, but still few people doubt the quality of the team.
Thiago was an obvious miss and this lack of coverage in the midfield area needs to be addressed, and this season is the first time I’ve seen Virgil van Dijk look anything other than indefatigable.
But during the song, Liverpool have the opportunity to put any side to the sword and, of course, they have the opportunity to confuse the teams that are above them.
Where will both sides finish this season?
Leicester’s season depends almost entirely on the January transfer window, in which we are traditionally calm, but it is clear that we need a central defender, a full-back (after James Justin’s latest injury) and a winger to provide competition and depth.
If we succeed, I don’t see any reason why we won’t be able to recover and finish in the first half, but to be honest, at this stage I would gladly settle for 14th place.
Liverpool probably put in too much effort to catch up with Arsenal — 15 points is a lot — even for them.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Newcastle continuing to do this all season, so I would say that Liverpool can break out fourth.
Which of the Liverpool players would you most like to see at Leicester?
Mo Salah seems obvious given his abilities, but I would call Van Dijk at the moment – we desperately need solidity in defense, so why not have the most reliable defender in the world?
Personally, I like watching Thiago play, and I feel that he, Yuri Thielemans and Maddison could do something really sexy.
Where will the key battles take place on Friday?
Amartey vs. Darwin Nunez is an interesting fight considering both are prone to chaos.
If Leicester want to get something out of the game, then Barnes should be on top, especially considering that Maddison and Dennis Pret are most likely out of the match.
His battle against the Alexander-Arnold Trend could be key at both ends of the field.
Finally, what is your forecast?
It’s hard to imagine anything other than Liverpool winning, given our injuries, and Jonny Evans, Justin and Maddison are key players.
We just don’t have the depth to replace them.
I’ll go with Liverpool 2-0 Leicester.