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Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can Leicester City Get Result Against Mohamed Salah, Reds?

Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can Leicester City Get Result Against Mohamed Salah, Reds? article feature image

Michael Regan/Getty Images. Pictured: Leicester City standout Kelechi Iheanacho.

  • Liverpool welcomes Leicester City to Anfield for Thursday's Premier League showdown.
  • Mohamed Salah and the Reds are huge -450 ML favorites, but Anthony Dabbundo thinks we have live underdogs in this meeting.
  • Check out below why he loves Leicester City to cover the big spread.

Liverpool vs. Leicester City Odds

Livepool Odds -450
Leicester City Odds +1200
Draw +550
Over/Under 3.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time Thursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
How To Watch USA Network | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Leicester City pulled off one of the shock upsets of the Premier League season in late December when it posted a 1-0 shutout win over Liverpool at King Power Stadium. The Reds will be out for revenge at home Thursday, as they continue their title chase of league leader Manchester City.

The Foxes have been a mess defensively for the last few months, conceding more expected goals than anyone in the league since November. However, can they replicate the defensive performance they had in the first meeting, which held Liverpool to just 1.5 non-penalty xG and kept a clean sheet?

Liverpool will be bolstered by the return of Mohamed Salah to the lineup following his playing to the African Cup of Nations with Egypt, but will be without Sadio Mané.

Even despite the recent poor form Leicester has shown both in the league and the FA Cup with a recent 4-1 loss to second-division side Nottingham Forest, this number has gone too far in Liverpool’s direction and the visitor is undervalued in the betting market.

Liverpool Seeking Revenge at Anfield

The injury and absences report is as good as it has been for Liverpool in a long time. The attack had no issues creating chances even with Salah and Mané away and should be just fine with the EPL’s leading goal scorer (Salah) added back into the starting lineup. The Reds are first in every attacking metric from shots per 90 minutes to xG to big scoring chances created.

The first meeting between these teams saw Liverpool have more touches in the opposition’s attacking penalty area as any team in the entire league has had all year. They really failed to turn all of that dangerous possession into clear chances, though.

The Reds had an early penalty and rebound chance saved after a miss from Salah and then only created one other big scoring chance through Mané in the entire game. Leicester did an excellent job of blocking shots and defending with numbers in the box, along with good goalkeeping from Kasper Schmeichel to deny the half chances the Reds did manage to put on target.

There have been some underlying cracks in the Liverpool defense, though, especially when playing with leads. The main difference in the title race is the Reds have dropped more points from winning positions because their defense hasn’t been quite as dominant as the Cityzens. The high-pressing nature of the Reds’ stylistic set-up can leave them occasionally exposed at the back.

Liverpool also has some defensive regression coming, given that they’ve only conceded 19 goals from about 23 xG this season. Look no further than the Reds’ two recent games against Crystal Palace and Tottenham, who are teams very adept at playing on the counterattack that totaled 5.4xG but only scored three from those games.

Defensive Issues Haunting Leicester City

Backing Leicester despite its defensive issues could be a potential nightmare, when you consider that the club has allowed 2.23 xGA per 90 minutes since Nov. 13. That ranks last in the EPL by three-tenths of a goal per 90 minutes.

The Foxes conceded 3.7 xGA to Spurs in a recent last minute loss, 1.3 xGA to Brighton & Hove Albion and 3.4 xGA to Manchester City. However, much like last year was inflated by penalties, the reverse has happened this year with the number of penalties conceded. No team has yielded more penalties than Leicester’s seven, while Liverpool has yet to concede one this season.

These stats are correlated to how much possession a team has and who the defenders and attackers are, but it’s also mostly noise at the fringes and extremes. The Foxes defense is still bad, ranking 18th in non-penalty xG per 90 allowed, but the crooked numbers that City, for example, put on them are inflated by penalties.

The Foxes were embarrassed at the weekend at Forest and that could lead to a shake-up in the starting lineup, but I’d still expect to see Caglar Soyuncu and Jannik Vestergaard as the center back pairing. Both have struggled for form, but it’s still better than the two center backs they played in the first meeting.

Willfried Ndidi has played well recently when he’s been on the pitch and had 10 tackles plus interceptions in the first contest.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Liverpool is in the classic revenge spot at home with the best player in the league returning and will be a popular pick to steamroll Leicester. However, if any mid-table side can hurt the Reds on the counterattack and running into space behind the press, it’s Leicester. I really think the Foxes have a good chance to score in this match.

The Reds are inflated because of the spot and overall health of the squad, but much like last time, the Foxes can keep this competitive and are actually healthier than they were heading into the last meeting.

Ndidi and Youri Tielemans can break up play enough in midfield; Patson Daka, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman are more than capable on the counter; and, Leicester shouldn’t be catching two goals on the road against anyone besides Manchester City in the league.

My projections have Leicester City as a 1.6-goal underdog, so I’ll take the two goals on the road and hold my nose the club will show some type of defensive improvement and stop giving away silly penalties.

Pick: Leicester City +2 (-120 or better)

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