Ian Wright says things could get “painful” for Liverpool against table toppers Leicester City at Anfield this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked vulnerable this season and last month’s 7-2 hammering against Aston Villa highlighted that.
The champions sit a point behind Brendan Rodgers’ side, but Klopp will have to field virtually a reserve back four at Anfield.
Virgil van Dijk is out for the rest of the season, while Joe Gomez, Thiago and Fabinho are also missing. Mo Salah will also be absent after testing positive for Covid-19 while on international duty.
Trent Alexander-Arnold missed England duty with a calf problem that will likely sideline him for a month. While Andy Robertson missed Scotland’s 1-0 defeat by Slovakia with a tight-hamstring.
Robertson did though line up against Israel and he could be the only regular in Klopp’s back four to face Leicester.
James Milner could slot in at right-back, but it means the likes of Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams will be in contention to play alongside Joel Matip. And Wright thinks Jamie Vardy and Co. can exploit the Reds’ high line.
“This is a real test for Liverpool simply because of who is missing. They haven’t got any of their back-four playing,” Wright said on his Wrighty’s House podcast.
“But what I love about Liverpool is they’re not looking to buy anybody in January and the way they don’t panic.
“We know Mohamed Salah isn’t playing but they’ve got Diogo Jota there who can play in any of those three places up front.
“If they can beat this Leicester team – which I think is going to be very tough simply because of what Leicester do, who they have, Vardy scoring against the top teams, Maddison didn’t get picked for England, (Youri) Tielemans… – the Liverpool midfield are going to have to be right on it.
“If Liverpool don’t close down that midfield and Vardy’s able to penetrate a high line that doesn’t have the main guys in it, we’re talking about something that could be quite painful.
“If Liverpool can get through this test with that back-four, and then maybe Jota coming up with the goods, you have to say that they are elite, mentally and physically.”
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