Leicester City faces a critical opportunity to claw its way back into the Premier League title race as it hosts the league leader, Liverpool, in a Boxing Day clash.
Liverpool leads Leicester by 10 points in the standings, with the Reds also having a game in hand over all of their closest rivals at the top of the table.
Perfect Liverpool Running Away From Challengers
Leicester City has been one of the pleasant surprises of this year’s EPL season, climbing their way into second place ahead of projected title contenders like Manchester City and Chelsea. A 3-1 loss at Man City on Saturday ended a nine-match undefeated run for Leicester, in which the club posted eight wins and one tie, to establish itself as one of the primary challengers for a Champions League position.
Premier League Boxing Day Odds
- Tottenham (-200) vs. Brighton (+500)
- Bournemouth (+250) vs. Arsenal (-105)
- Everton (-145) vs. Burnley (+410)
- Aston Villa (+110) vs. Norwich (+230)
- Chelsea (-300) vs. Southampton (+700)
- Sheffield United (-125) vs. Watford (+360)
- Crystal Palace (+130) vs. West Ham (+210)
- Manchester United (-290) vs. Newcastle (+800)
- Leicester City (+240) vs. Liverpool (+105)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Nobody has been able to put a dent in Liverpool’s lead, however. The Reds remain undefeated after 17 matches, with only a single draw preventing the club from having a perfect record. Defending champion Man City is 11 points back, and as the season reaches its midpoint, Liverpool appears to be on the path to earning its first top flight English title since 1990.
Liverpool is also the defending Champions League winner, and just won the Club World Cup. Despite all of its success, Liverpool remains far from clinching the Premier League title, and goalkeeper Alisson believes the Boxing Day match against Leicester is critical.
“There’s a big moment and decisive moment arriving for us in the Premier League, and you need to stay focused on the moment,” Alisson told ESPN. “You just need to look for what you have in front of you to not miss the moment, to not miss the chances that you have. If you want to win the Premier League, you need to try to win every game, and I think against Leicester [it] will be the same.”
Rodgers: Leicester Prepared for Intense Battle
Liverpool comes into the match as a +105 pick to win on the road, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. But Leicester (+240) is in with a chance, and manager Brendan Rodgers believes his team will be ready to defend their arena when the EPL leaders roll into town.
“Liverpool next is another great measure for us and great test,” Rodgers told reporters. “Congratulations to them, they will come back on a real high. But we are playing at home so the intensity of the crowd can help us as well.”
Liverpool will be confident after having defeated Leicester 2-1 at Anfield on Oct. 5 in the first EPL meeting between the clubs. But manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that his team respects Leicester, saying that they know they are in for a real challenge on Boxing Day.
“Leicester is not only Jamie Vardy,” Klopp said at a press conference. “Brendan did an excellent job there. They are a proper, top-class team. The quality they have is exceptional, plus the manager they have makes a really good mix. But we will prepare like we always do.”