Leicester City v Liverpool preview: Jamie Vardy remains banned for Reds' visit
Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday
Last Updated: 01/09/18 12:18pm
Leicester's Jamie Vardy will sit out the second game of his three-match ban as Liverpool visit the King Power Stadium, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
The 31-year-old striker was sent off for a late tackle in Leicester's 2-0 win over Wolves a fortnight ago, and with Riyad Mahrez having departed for Manchester City in the summer, the Foxes' two main sources of goals for last season will both be missing when the Reds arrive for their 12.30pm kick-off.
Vardy has also stepped down from England duty this week, something Claude Puel has given his backing to, as it will also give the former non-league forward more time with his young family.
"We have to respect his decision, it's not a decision from a few days, it's a decision from before when we've discussed this," Leicester boss Puel told Sky Sports.
"It's the desire of the player. He has to feel his future, and it's important to respect this feeling and this decision. I am happy for him if he's happy."
Asked if Vardy's decision is music to his ears in a Leicester sense, Puel continued: "Yeah, I know like he played for his national team he's always had good concentration.
"But of course it can prevent some injury, he can be more available for us and continue to give his best for Leicester and can take a little more time with his family. That's important in life too."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told goalkeeper Simon Mignolet that being the deputy to Alisson Becker is "not the worst job in the world".
The Belgium international seemed destined for the exit following the £65m arrival of the Brazilian this summer for what was, at the time, a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
However, Loris Karius - to whom Mignolet lost his place last season - was the one to depart earlier this week on a two-year loan to Besiktas, with the Turkish club undertaking an option to buy for a further £7.25m should he meet certain appearance and European qualification criteria.
It left Mignolet facing another campaign as second choice and prompted him to give an interview in his homeland in which he said he still wanted to play and did not know what the future held for him.
Klopp was not happy the goalkeeper went public but understood his frustrations.
"It is true he will not depart, of course not," he said. "In general discussing your individual problems in public does not make too much sense, it is better to speak to each other, I'm a big believer in that. But it was still OK.
"We are all human beings and I have no problem with that, and if he was happy to be a number two then I wouldn't really know him.
"He is a top professional, a top goalkeeper and of course he is not happy to be number two but at the end there are worse things in the world than being number two - pretty good pay by the way at Liverpool."
Matty James remains sidelined with an Achilles problem, but Leicester have no new injury concerns.
Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu is still awaiting his Leicester debut after his summer switch from Freiburg, while Vardy remains suspended.
Klopp must decide whether or not to stick with an unchanged Liverpool side for the fourth successive match. Captain Jordan Henderson has been a substitute in all three matches so far, managing just over an hour's pitch time, while fellow midfielder and new signing Fabinho has not even made the last two squads.
Defender Dejan Lovren (hip) is still sidelined.
- Leicester have won three of their last four home meetings with Liverpool in all competitions, though they did lose this exact fixture 3-2 last season.
- Liverpool have won eight of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Leicester (D2 L2), though they have lost this fixture in two of the last three seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17).
- Leicester have lost their last 10 Premier League matches against sides starting the day top of the table, scoring just four goals while conceding 25 in those matches.
- Liverpool have won their last four Premier League games without conceding a goal - they last had a longer winning run without conceding in December 2005, a run of eight under Rafael Benitez.
- Liverpool are looking to win their opening four games of a Premier League season for the first time. They last opened a top-flight campaign with four wins back in 1990-91 under Kenny Dalglish.
- Liverpool have kept three clean sheets in their opening three Premier League games in 2018-19 - the only previous occasion they haven't conceded in any of their first four league games in a season was back in 2005-06.
- Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson could become the fourth goalkeeper in Premier League history to keep a clean sheet in his first four starts, after Alex Manninger (first six), Anders Lindegaard (first five) and Jose Reina (first four).
- Since Leicester returned to the Premier League in 2014-15, Jamie Vardy has scored 43% of Leicester's league goals against 'big six' opposition (27 of 63 goals) - however, he is suspended and will miss this match.
- 50% of the six 90th minute goals scored in the 2018-19 Premier League season have been scored by Leicester (2) or Liverpool (1), while these sides are responsible for 12 of the 37 goals scored in the final minute in 2018 (Leicester with eight, Liverpool with four).
- Since the start of last season, Liverpool have not won any of the eight Premier League matches when Mo Salah has started but failed to register a goal or assist (D4 L4).
I can't see anything but a Liverpool win. There's no [Jamie] Vardy for Leicester, who had a great result at Southampton, but this Liverpool team has so much going forward. You look at that front three Manchester City had at Wolves on Saturday - Liverpool beat them last season (4-3 at Anfield in January).
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
Sky Bet preview
Leicester are Sky Bet's 13/2 outsiders with Liverpool 4/9 to leave with all three points, while the draw is a 18/5 shot. With Jamie Vardy absent, Kelechi Iheanacho leads the Foxes' side of the first goalscorer market at 9/1, while Mohamed Salah is the favourite at 3/1, and enhanced from 3/1 to 5/1 to bag a brace in Sky Bet's Price Boosts.