Emile Heskey firmly reckons Leicester are genuine Premier League title contenders and has backed them as the side most likely to challenge Liverpool for their crown.
The former England international’s former clubs meet at Anfield on Sunday in the latest test of the Foxes’ credentials. Indeed, our Predictions don’t expect the game to go entirely Liverpool’s way.
Leicester have won six straight games in all competitions. They also beat Manchester City 5-2 in September and seemingly have suffered no hangover after last season’s top-four heartbreak.
Liverpool’s title defence has them a point behind the Foxes, heading into Sunday evening’s game.
And Heskey, speaking to the PA news agency, is adamant that Brendan Rodgers’ side can last the course.
“They are true title contenders and I don’t really see them falling away too much, unlike last season,” Heskey said.
“Brendan will understand why they fell away last season and how to rectify it.
“They dropped out of the top four then so they would love to stay in there. That’s going to be their aim. They’re in a better place than last year. Even the manager is in a better place to understand the players in the long term.
“Results are all over the place so it’s difficult to say who is going to challenge. I still think Manchester City – but Leicester have got the best chance to win the league. That’s because you would have thought others, like Arsenal and Manchester United, would be challenging.”
Subscribe for free to TEAMtalk’s daily newsletter…
Heskey backing for Roberto Firmino
Heskey moved to Anfield from Leicester in 2000 for £11million and scored 60 goals in 228 games for the Reds.
The 42-year-old won two League Cups, the FA Cup and UEFA Cup in four years at Anfield.
He has been impressed with Diogo Jota’s impact following his £41million switch from Wolves in September.
However, Heskey is adamant that Reds striker Roberto Firmino should not be written off yet.
Jota has scored seven times already – including a Champions League hat-trick at Atalanta – while Firmino has netted just once in 12 appearances.
“I played with a lot of the lads from the national team so I was lucky but it’s energising (joining Liverpool),” said Heskey.
“You are with some of the best players in the world and it can only make you better. He’s been excellent, he’ll be being pushed and pushed differently.
“But Firmino is still key, he’s an integral part of how they play. He’s a fantastic player, he may not be all about goals but it’s about movement, trickery, guile, playing balls in. We’ve seen it all.
“I’ve said it about Michael (Owen) as well. He’d be playing injured but just having Michael there gave others a boost as well because they know they have the talented man on the pitch.”
READ MORE: Jota will use Liverpool as stepping stone to better things, Klopp told