Dugout Discussion

Kabak makes Liverpool debut and Vardy returns to Leicester City starting line-up

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.

1,411 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Come on Salah, I’m getting hungry, need to FEAST

    1. dogtanion
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      He's looking so dangerous.

      1. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Good to hear!

  2. Revival
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Vardy is no Danny Ings

    1. Party time
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Of course. 1 is a PL champion & the other isn’t

  3. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah looking dangerous this game

    1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      And happy

  4. Make United Great Again
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah is such a diver

  5. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    salah down again in the box, should be a pen

    1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Naaaah

    2. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      What? Lol there was no contact at all. Should be a yellow card.

    3. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Lol

    4. Revival
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Need new specs.....Dive

    5. Third Eye Vision
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Should have been a yellow card for simulation. Shame VAR hasn’t stopped this sort of behaviour.

  6. The Senate
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    I feel very lucky Salah hasn't been booked for diving so far

  7. Nikolai Volkoff
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah playing like he has 2 right feet

  8. SH1M1
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah diving again zzz

  9. Zladan
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah fallen over looking for another penalty.

    This dive was a yellow card worthy.

  10. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Salah clearly looking for it and in my opinion it’s not a pen but I know for a fact if it was Utd it’d be given.

    1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Bruno would have stamped on the defender and would have been a penalty

    2. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      I think there was clear contact this time.

      1. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        There was contact but not enough to make him fall. I just hope that VAR are consistent with those sort of decisions and don’t go and give that sort of pen to another team

    3. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      You’re right. United clout was earned

    4. Milkman Bruno
        2 months, 26 days ago

        You know this for a fact. Right. You obviously didn’t see the numerous decisions that have went against United recently?

    5. Mr. O'Connell
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Stonewaller denied

    6. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      NEEDS to be yellow carded

    7. Scots Gooner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      C'mon Salah. A haul here after so many sold would be a great start to the week

    8. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Salah is such a cheat. Get up! (but score a legitimate goal please...)

      1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        What?

    9. Fudgy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Why no yellow for the cheater

      1. Pukki Party
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        You own him Fudgy you don't want him to be booked

    10. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Salah carrying on from the Man City game with his dieing swan looking for decisions.

    11. Milkman Bruno
        2 months, 26 days ago

        I owned Amartey for awhile this season. Nice 3.9 def option with Justin out if he gets another start.

        1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          He won't imo. Castagne will be back. Fofana is a full back too

          1. Milkman Bruno
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Amartey can play CB and CDM also which he has already done this season so wait and see

              1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                I don't want to wait and see if I spend a transfer on him it needs to be 90% certain

        2. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Salah needs to stamp on the defender with 2 feets (Bruno style) in order to get that penalty

        3. Drogo
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Took out Salah for Gundogan hhis GW, watch him explode again.

        4. dogtanion
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          That was more a penalty than the Martial one v Southampton

        5. Von Lipwig
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Been such a long time since I didn't have Salah. It's not nice

        6. Forza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Salah to Slight Breeze was the right move this week.

        7. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          Liverpool looking way better without Tiago

          1. Monklane
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            here he comes.....

          2. Zladan
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            I think you jinxed it lol he is coming on now.

        8. Captain_Shirokov
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          coufal coming off the bench for antonio for me, not too bad

        9. Zladan
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          You’d think Salah would be ashamed having seen the images circulating of his dive v City.

          He’s only gone and dived twice in the first 12 minutes looking for penalties.

          The man is a disgrace.

          1. ivantys
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Yeah going all out to win the golden boot.

            • Make United Great Again
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Some call it smart

            • JONALDINHO
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Just say that you hate Liverpool. A disgrace? Bit harsh. The first call he never looked for the pen. The one at City was a stone wall pen.

            • I am become Marvin
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              He's far from the only player who dives.

          2. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            thiago coming on

            1. Mr. O'Connell
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Leicester clean sheet confirmed

              1. Mr. O'Connell
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Justin 3 bonus

          3. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Injury and a sub for Liverpool

            1. dogtanion
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Lol it's Milner

          4. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Salah almost. Every dead ball comes to him somehow

          5. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Salah on pens

            1. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              He always was

            2. g40steve
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              🙂

          6. Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Bad news for Liverpool. Tiago in who slows them down