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Leicester City vs Liverpool combined XI

Monday 27th February 2017
Leicester and Liverpool's crunch match is fast approaching and it is clear that neither team can afford to lose this one. Leicester have struggled hugely this term and their difficulties have been exemplified hugely following the sacking of their title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes currently find themselves in 18th place with 21 points, one point short of Crystal Palace in 17th and safety.

Liverpool on the other hand currently sit in fifth place with 49 points, one point shy of Arsenal in the last Champions League spot, and 14 short of Chelsea at the summit. While the Reds are some way short of Chelsea, their season should still be seen as a success if they can acquire a Champions League place at the end of the campaign.

While the two teams are battling for the points for markedly different reasons, they will be equally desperate to pick up all three points. With this in mind, we have compiled a starting team from the two sides to make a combined Leicester and Liverpool XI:
Defensively, neither team is really able to supply the most sound players. In goal, the difficulties Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is having when choosing a consistent number one is very telling. Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius have not convinced at all, meaning that Kasper Schmeichel is the obvious choice for this team. While Leicester have conceded 43 goals this term, he has still been very good between the sticks, with his performance against Sevilla in midweek, in particular, was impressing as he did all he could to keep his side in their Champions League tie.

Defensively, not one Leicester player features. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth have not been anywhere near the standard of last term as they have all too often been caught out. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have not been the model partnership, but they have been better than their counterparts. Lovren has not been particularly good this term, but Matip has impressed with his pace and power adding a much-needed solidity to Klopp's back-four. On the flanks, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne are the two men out wide, with Clyne's pace and dual presence in both attack and defence making him the ideal wing-back, while Milner is superbly experienced and he has made the transition to left-back almost seamlessly.
In defensive midfield is the English partnership of Jordan Henderson and Danny Drinkwater . Henderson has grown into the role superbly with his range of passing, non-stop running and leadership. Henderson is the epitome of Klopp's style with his engine and ability to meld both attack and defence, making him one of the Premier League's standout defensive midfielders. Drinkwater is another player that has a fantastic passing range, has superb vision and is a non-stop runner. He has not been in the best of form this season, however, his performance in the second-half against Sevilla was superb.

Further forward is the fantastic trio that Liverpool boast. Philippe Coutinho , Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino comprise one of the most exciting attacking midfields in the Premier League. Their pace, trickery, passing range and vision is outstanding and they have combined all too often to tear the opposition apart. Ahead of them is Jamie Vardy . While the forward has not been able to recreate the form of last season, he has still been better than Daniel Sturridge, who Klopp does not seem to trust. Vardy's electric pace and accurate finishing made him one of the most deadly strikers in the league, and, on his day, he is still a dangerous proposition to deal with. The four together would constitute a fearsome attack.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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