- Title: Liverpool face Vardy threat, Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined with ankle injury
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: LEICESTER, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - MARCH 17, 2017) (REUTERS) LEICESTER STRIKER JAMIE VARDY WALKING TO TRAINING SESSION
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 12:13
- Keywords: Juergen Klopp Liverpool Premier League
- Location: LIVERPOOL/LEICESTER, ENGLAND, UK/DOHA, QATAR
- City: LIVERPOOL/LEICESTER, ENGLAND, UK/DOHA, QATAR
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA002BBC5AGV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Liverpool, newly crowned Club World Cup winners, return to their main task -- fighting for their first league title in 30 years -- when they face their closest challengers Leicester City on Thursday (December 26).
The Boxing Day clash of the top-two, at Leicester's King Power stadium, headlines a full programme of festive fixtures and despite Leicester's 3-1 reverse at Manchester City on Saturday (December 21), Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp is aware of the dangers that his side face. Liverpool are on 49 points and have a 10-point lead with a game in hand over Leicester in the Premier League standings.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who was replaced by Klopp at Anfield, has built a team that has won as many games as Pep Guardiola's City, 12 out of 18. They have lost just three times and in Jamie Vardy they have the league's top scorer with 17 goals.
"We will try (to stop Vardy). He's a massive striker, an exceptional striker. One of the top three since I've been in England," said Klopp at a news conference in Liverpool on Tuesday (December 24).
"He's difficult to defend, always on the shoulder... playing the offside line, really dangerous. The only thing you can do is avoid the passes to him and that's what we'll try.
"But Leicester is not only Jamie Vardy. Brendan has done an excellent job there and they're a proper top class team. The quality they have is exceptional," added the German.
Klopp will need to draw on his strength in depth given that midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered an ankle injury in the extra-time win over Flamengo in the Club World Cup final in Qatar.
Klopp confirmed the 26-year-old would not play during the busy festive period when Liverpool play three times in eight days.
With Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Brazilian Fabinho all sidelined, Joe Gomez is likely to partner Virgil van Dijk in the center of defence.
(Production: Annette Faydenko)
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