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In the NFL, they use this theory called garbage time that basically pads fantasy football statistics. But, I often think that how a team ends a game can have a bigger say on their short-term form than anything else.
Leicester’s three-goal salvo against Man City didn’t mean much for their result, but it should enable them to be confident going forward against stern opposition. Enter Liverpool. Their 2-2 with Spurs (Antonio Conte aside) seems to be a real stunt to their title aspirations, largely because of Spurs’ inability to get results against superior sides.
Tuesday 8pm – Leicester v Liverpool
Watch on Amazon Prime Video (UK) and Premier Sports 1 (Ireland)
A Boxing Day clash with an injury ravaged Leeds United would have amended that and seen them find themselves again, but as the game was postponed Liverpool were without a fixture to reset themselves. So, I reckon they could be slow out of the blocks here and that will play into the hands of The Foxes.
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Nine of Liverpool’s last 11 Premier League games have hit the over 3.5 goals tally. That is an astonishing total when you think about it, and all the more reason we should be grateful for Jurgen Klopp effectively playing a front five.
Only four of Leicester’s 17 games have hit the traditional unders total too. And there’s been 26 goals in their last five clashes, so it’s easy to see why I’m tipping this selection up.
As mention, Liverpool play a front five and the one area in which Leicester truly struggle is with players who can find the gaps when they’re trying to maintain width – these are players who don’t touch the ball all too often.
Their discipline is excellent when it comes to squaring up ball carries, but as soon as play gets in behind them, they lose the run of themselves. Diogo Jota is one of the best players in the league at finding those spaces.
And going back to Liverpool’s front five yet again – it’s worth pointing out that their obscure 3-2-5 formation generally means a midfielder has to cover wide positions, but The Reds lack pace in those areas. Jamie Vardy can run into space almost at free will and if he has a willing overlap, he will cut inside and unleash time and time again.
This may be true of most players of course, but the genius about backing Vardy in this situation is that he doesn’t need the runner – he shoots from bloody anywhere and he should be rested for this game too!
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