Liverpool vs Leicester City EFL Cup LIVE Football Score 22 Dec 2021
About the match
Liverpool is going head to head with Leicester City starting on 22 Dec 2021 at 19:45 UTC at Anfield stadium, Liverpool city, England. The match is a part of the EFL Cup.
With the lingering threat of coronavirus hanging over both clubs, Liverpool welcome Leicester City to Anfield in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night – the first of two meetings between the two sides in the space of a week.
Brendan Rodgers returns to face his former club having seen Leicester undergo an enforced 10-day break due to a COVID-19 outbreak, whereas Liverpool are in the midst of a run of four games in 10 days.
Having seen their Premier League title challenge suffer a setback on Sunday, Liverpool must now quickly refocus on another potential route to silverware when Leicester come to town in midweek.
The dust has barely settled on the eventful 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, a result which ended Liverpool’s eight-match winning streak across all competitions and saw them fall three points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
In truth, Jurgen Klopp may have been content with the result given that Spurs created a string of clear chances and that Liverpool ended the game with 10 men, but the German was far from happy about a number of other matters.
Klopp vented his fury at referee Paul Tierney following a number of questionable calls, and also insisted that it would be “impossible” for his side to fulfil a festive fixture schedule which sees them play eight times in December while trying to contend with depleting numbers due to coronavirus.
Four players have already tested positive from Liverpool and, while they have not yet crossed the threshold to qualify for a match to be postponed, coupled with their growing injury list it did leave Klopp warning that he may have enough players to play in one game, but that he does not have enough to play four games in 10 days.
Liverpool and Chelsea are the only teams to have played all of their scheduled Premier League games as well as playing in Europe and reaching the EFL Cup quarter-finals, so understandably neither would have been too pleased by the news that the Premier League and EFL have both decided to press ahead with the fixture schedule as planned.
As a result, there may be echoes of Klopp’s decision to field his youngsters the last time they reached the quarter-finals of this competition in 2019-20, when the senior team’s involvement in the Club World Cup saw Liverpool field the Under-23s side in the EFL Cup, a game which they proceeded to lose 5-0 to Aston Villa.
The Reds have not reached the semi-finals of the League Cup since 2016-17 and have not lifted the trophy for a decade, yet they remain the joint-most successful club in the competition’s history.
Away victories over Norwich City and Preston North End by an aggregate score of 5-0 have taken them to the last eight this time around, but at home they are enduring their longest ever winless run in the competition of four games, excluding penalty shootouts.
The bad news for Leicester is that Liverpool have been imperious at Anfield in every other competition this season, winning nine and losing none of their 12 home outings. Indeed, you have to go back to March for Liverpool’s last home defeat.
That would be daunting for any club, but Leicester have not won at Anfield on any of their last 10 visits in all competitions, a run which includes eight defeats and stretches back to 2000.
Ending that run on Wednesday would also bode well considering that 2000 was the year they last won the League Cup, although they have only reached the semi-finals once in 21 attempts since then.
The Foxes have beaten Millwall and Brighton & Hove Albion en route to the last eight this time around, the latter on penalties, but Wednesday’s contest is likely to be their toughest test yet.
Leicester have seen their last two Premier League games called off due to a COVID outbreak within their squad, missing matches against Tottenham and Everton.
While a rest at this stage of the campaign would ordinarily be welcome, the disruption to their training regime is not ideal preparation for a run of fixtures which sees them face Liverpool twice, either side of a trip to champions and leaders Manchester City on December 26.
Rodgers’s side did at least end a three-game winless run the last time they were able to play, though, hammering Newcastle United 4-0 at the King Power Stadium on December 12.
However, Leicester have not beaten a Premier League team outside the bottom four since October, while away from home this season their only wins in the Premier League have come against newly-promoted clubs.
The visitors are unlikely to be coming up against a full-strength Liverpool side, though, and may fancy their chances of springing a surprise during a time of such uncertainty.
Klopp may not go to the extremes of that last EFL Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa, when Liverpool named their youngest ever side, but his suggestion that Liverpool would be unable to fulfil the fixture schedule suggests that he could make as many changes as possible for this game.
The only thing which could prevent him from doing the full XI is a lack of options in midfield especially, with up to five players missing in that area of the pitch.
Thiago Alcantara has joined Fabinho and Curtis Jones in testing positive for coronavirus, while Harvey Elliott remains sidelined by a serious ankle injury.
Jordan Henderson was ruled out of the Tottenham game due to a non-COVID related illness and is a doubt for this game too, with Klopp unlikely to take any risks over his captain.
Tyler Morton and James Milner could both therefore start again, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be pushing for a return to the starting XI too.
Andrew Robertson will serve his suspension following his red card against Spurs, opening the door for Kostas Tsimikas at left-back, while Virgil van Dijk remains in isolation after his own positive COVID test.
Nat Phillips and Adrian are also absent, while Divock Origi is still absent due to a knee injury.
Fringe players such as Neco Williams, Joe Gomez, Caoimhin Kelleher and Takumi Minamino should come into the side, with the latter having scored five goals in his four League Cup outings.
There could also be another start for 17-year-old Kaide Gordon, while Klopp may see the game as a good opportunity to hand fit-again Roberto Firmino his first start since October.
Leicester’s list of absentees could be even longer than Liverpool’s, although it remains unclear just how badly their coronavirus outbreak continues to affect them after missing their last two games.
Reports suggest that Jannik Vestergaard, Ayoze Perez, Ademola Lookman, Kelechi Iheanacho, Filip Benkovic, Hamza Choudhury and Vontae Daley-Campbell are among the players to have tested positive, meaning that all of them could miss out in midweek.
That COVID crisis comes in the midst of an injury-induced shortage as well, and regardless of who misses out due to the virus, Leicester will be severely depleted in defence.
Injuries to both Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans against Newcastle, in addition to the continued absence of Wesley Fofana, mean that Rodgers could be forced to field a makeshift centre-back pairing of Daniel Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi.
Wednesday’s match is also likely to come too soon for James Justin, meaning that Rodgers could be without as many as 11 players.
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