Preview: Liverpool v Leicester City

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Jurgen Klopp says the "noise and the energy" from the Anfield faithful will be key in Liverpool's final Premier League clash of 2017 against former champions Leicester City.

Premier League
Date: 30 December 2017
Match Day 21
Kick-off: 17H00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Anfield
Referee: N. Swarbrick
Assistants: S. Ledger, A. Garratt
Fourth official: L. Mason

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM              MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Liverpool        89         36        20           33       
Leicester City    89        33        20         36

Previous encounter: 

Leicester City 2-3 Liverpool 23/09/17 (Premier League)

Leicester City goalscorers: S. Okazaki (45'), J. Vardy (69')

Liverpool goalscorers: M. Salah (15'), P. Coutinho (23'), J. Henderson (68')

Players to watch: 

Klopp might not enjoy the moniker, but Liverpool's fab four are usually the difference whether they all play, whether it be together or to impact the game.

Mohamed Salah's 15 league goals and six assists, alongside Coutinho's seven goals, seven assists, Roberto Firmino's nine and four, and Sadio Mane's four and three, makes this fearsome foursome a real threat to any side.

Rihad Mahrez (6) and Jamie Vardy (8) have started to combine well again under Claude Puel, with 14 goals between them this season, while Shinji Okazaki has eight goals from three matches less than both his Algerian and English teammates.

Team form and manager quotes: 

11 points separates the two sides, with Liverpool in fourth place on 38 points and Leicester down in eighth place with 27 points.

The Reds have not lost in 14 games in all competitions, last thrashing Swansea 5-0 after a 3-3 draw with Arsenal.

The Foxes though have not won in four, last losing 2-1 to Watford after holding Manchester United to a 2-2 draw, last beating Southampton midway through December, having been on a four-game winning run.

Ahead of the game, Klopp said: "Today and the next 48 hours are a big test for us and one I hope we can attack head-on."

He added: "For us, I see it as a challenge for the players, and for a manager and the staff it is a case of working to find the right solution for each game. 

"That’s what we must do now and it is made easier because we will have a really hungry squad of players and the backing of our incredible supporters, many of whom also dig deep financially and emotionally to keep being there for us and cheering us on.

“I loved how Anfield felt on Boxing Day. The noise and the energy in those final 30 minutes was amazing. With kicking off at 3pm today, against an opponent who will bring their own spark and zest, I think we can have an even better feeling inside this wonderful place if we choose to make it happen.

“We will all be working hard to finish 2017 in the right way.”

Puel, meanwhile, says he is excited ahead of another "big occasion" for his side.

He explained: "They are a great team with good defenders, midfield and attacking players. They are a complete team. We have to look after our play and try to play our game against them. 

“We had good opportunities and good results recently against big teams like against Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham. We like the big occasion.

“This is a big challenge to compete against this team and it is good to play quickly after our last game to show our potential.

“We need consistency and continue our hard work on the pitch. The last game we showed a good positive attitude but without the good control of the ball and the game."

Team news: 

Jordan Henderson (hamstring) and Alberto Moreno (ankle) remain sidelined for Liverpool while Daniel Sturridge is out with a muscle problem.

Leicester have Danny Simpson (hamstring) out, along with Robert Huth (ankle), but Daniel Amartey is back from a one-match ban.

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