Ozan Kabak (£5.0m) is the latest man to partner auxiliary centre-half Jordan Henderson (£5.4m) for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
With Fabinho (£5.4m) ruled for the Reds with a muscle injury, the German’s hand was forced into another backline shuffle.
Ben Davies (£5.0m), also brought in as centre-back cover, is not part of the Liverpool matchday 18 due to a knock. Nat Phillips (£4.0m) is on the bench after deputising in Gameweek 22. On Kabak, Klopp said ahead of the early DGW24 kick-off:
It was a good training week for him, an important training week for him. Unfortunately, Ben Davies picked up a little knock as well so…it’s unbelievable.
Ozan looked good in training. The boys got used to each other. Of course today is a proper test against Leicester; against Vardy, against Maddison, against Barnes. It will be tricky but we think we are prepared.
On Leicester, Klopp added:
They can change systems, they are really strong and are extremely good at the counter attack.
Along with Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara (£5.6m) is the other player to drop out of Klopp’s XI from the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in Gameweek 23. James Milner (£5.3m) is the man drafted into the midfield three.
Otherwise things are as we might expect for the champions. Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) Sadio Mane (£11.9m) Roberto Firmino (£9.3m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) Andy Robertson (£7.3m) and Alisson (£5.9m) all start. Ahead of kick off, Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport:
It’s huge for us, coming here is always difficult. We’ve had a week to work on things, it’s chop and change at the back at the moment but we have to get used to that.
We are prepared for a few systems that Leicester may use and we think we can hurt them.
In embargoed quotes on Friday night, Klopp had said of Kabak and Davies:
Yeah, [Kabak is a] calm person. So, both Ben [Davies] and Ozan are calm people, willing to learn, great attitude. They really throw themselves in everything that is ahead of them – what a defender should do. Making big steps, adapting to the way we play, that’s important.
We have still a clear way to defend, which is important, because if both of them would be on the pitch, then there are still nine players who are used to what we did before – so if the two players would do something differently that would lead to a strange situation.
It’s all good so far. Now we have to make decisions. We have to change again because of Fab and now we will see which solution we will take.
Leicester could be using a back four or a wing-back system at the King Power stadium, with Brendan Rodgers coy in his pre-match interview. When BT Sport suggest the Foxes were in playing in a different shape, Rodgers responded:
Well you’ll see…not really. I think we have the flexibility to play in that [different formation]. That’s been the pleasing element of the team’s development in specific games. We can adapt and change.
Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) returns to the Leicester league XI for the first time since Double Gameweek 19. The forward did log 29 minutes as a sub in GW23 and started the midweek FA Cup win against Brighton.
James Maddison (£7.4m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) could flank Vardy in a 3-4-3 set up, while Wilfred Ndidi (£4.8m) also makes his injury return to start in midfield.
Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) looks set to operate at either left-back or left wing-back, with £3.9m defender Daniel Amartey playing on the right-hand side of Rodgers’ defence.
Unfortunately, the aformentioned James Justin will be out for a lengthy period after an ACL injury in that FA Cup this tie. Rodgers stated on Saturday:
He [Justin] has an operation next week and hopefully he’ll be back within a number of months. Big blow for us.
Leicester XI (4-1-4-1 or 3-4-3): Schmeichel; R Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Amartey; Ndidi; Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Albrighton; Vardy.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Henderson, Kabak, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Wijnaldum, Milner; Mane, Firmino, Salah.