The current Premier League champions Leicester City will be the first visiting team to play on upgraded Anfield while Liverpool is hoping for three points and the special beginning of the new era.
Liverpool had to play all three opening games away from home due to the redevelopment of the Main Stand, and now will be delighted to take on the champions in front of 54,000 supporters. The owners decided not to build a new Anfield on Stanley Park, so they added 8,500 seats, expanding the old Main Stand.
The new chapter of the Liverpool Football Club will begin on Saturday, and there is no better way to enter the new era than against the team who is defending a title. The atmosphere among Liverpool players is great, and they are eager to light up the fans from the referee’s first whistle. The usually loud Anfield will be even louder, and the home team players know how to transmit that energy into goals and eventual victory.
However, the Foxes will not be an easy opponent to beat, and after their heroic campaign last year, it will take a lot to impress them. Claudio Ranieri will set his team exactly how he likes the most – to play on the counterattacks and wait for their opportunity from Liverpool mistakes. Still, that didn’t pay off last year when Leicester suffered a 1-0 defeat here. In fact, Leicester is without a win at Anfield since 2000, and will be in all kinds of trouble if they concede a goal in the first 20 minutes or so.
Jurgen Klopp understands the power of the crowd, and he demands a full voice support for the whole 90 minutes. He will probably get it because the fans cannot wait to see their team playing at home for the first time this season. Both sides will be highly motivated; Liverpool has the opportunity for a fresh start with three points while Leicester is looking for a statement win which will prove the doubters wrong.
The Derby of Manchester will open the game week and is labelled as a headline match, but this duel at Anfield could turn out to be more exciting than the chess game between Mourinho and Guardiola.
- Liverpool is only one of two clubs (Arsenal on both occasions) that beat Leicester last season.
- The Foxes recorded only one point from the previous five visits to Anfield.
- The Reds are without a home loss in last 12 matches; they recorded eight wins and four draws.
- Claudio Ranieri is the last manager to beat Liverpool in the first game of the season at Anfield; it was back in 2003-04 when he led Chelsea to a 2-1 win.
Jurgen Klopp cannot count on Emre Can, Mamadou Sakho, and Sheyi Ojo while Ragnar Klavan is facing a late fitness test. Loris Karius is back on training, and his recovery is looking fine, but Simon Mignolet will start the game in goal.
Liverpool possible starting lineup: Mignolet – Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner – Henderson, Wijnaldum – Mane, Firmino, Coutinho – Sturridge.
Claudio Ranieri could hand a debut to the record signing Islam Slimani, but he will likely start off the bench. Kasper Schmeichel is back after minor hernia operation while Nampalys Mendy and Jeff Schlupp are still sidelined.
Leicester possible starting lineup: Schmeichel – Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs – Amartey, Drinkwater, Mahrez, Albrighton – Vardy, Okazaki (Musa).