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Liverpool vs Leicester: Will Jurgen Klopp's side capitalise on Manchester City's slip-up?
Title rivals Manchester City lost 2-1 at Newcastle on Tuesday
Last Updated: 30/01/19 6:37pm
Liverpool have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points after Manchester City's shock defeat at Newcastle - but will the Reds seize their chance?
Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez handed his old club a huge boost in the title race by masterminding Newcastle's 2-1 win over second-placed City on Tuesday, with Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie striking back after Sergio Aguero's early opener.
The result means Liverpool will go into their Anfield clash with struggling Leicester City on Wednesday night knowing they can take a big step towards their first league title since 1990.
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But will Jurgen Klopp's men take advantage?
Here, we look ahead to the contest and a pivotal moment in the race for the Premier League crown…
Premier League leaders Liverpool are four points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand ahead of Wednesday night's fixtures.
Victory over Leicester will extend Liverpool's gap to seven points with 24 games played.
On nine occasions in Premier League history a team has had a lead of seven points or more after 24 games. Newcastle, in 1995/96, were the only team not to go on to win the title from that position.
That statistic underlines what a huge opportunity Liverpool have in front of their own fans at Anfield on Wednesday night.
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What condition are Liverpool in?
They are fresh. This will be Liverpool's first game since their 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on January 19.
After being knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves earlier this month, Klopp made full use of Liverpool's weekend off by taking the squad to Dubai, where they had warm weather training sessions to recover from the festive fixture schedule and prepare for the second half of the campaign.
Key defender Virgil van Dijk has been ill recently but is now back in training and will be fit to play against Leicester.
The only issue is at right-back, where injured pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez remain sidelined and James Milner is suspended. That means Klopp may have to use midfielder Fabinho or Rafael Camacho, 18, at full-back.
Can Leicester spring another surprise?
Claude Puel's men are on a bad run of form. They have lost four of their last five matches. But there are reasons to believe they could cause an upset on Wednesday night.
Leicester, like Liverpool, are also coming into this game after a free weekend, after being knocked out of the FA Cup early, so they should be raring to go for their trip to Anfield.
Earlier this season...
Liverpool won 2-1 at Leicester on September 1, when Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino put the Reds in control before Rachid Ghezzal capitalised on an Alisson error to pull one back.
They also have some big wins under their belt this season, having beaten Chelsea and Manchester City over the Christmas period, and are sixth in the away table with a record of five wins and two draws from their 12 matches on the road.
"They like playing against the top sides," said Klopp ahead of the match. "They are not that much a counter-attacking side as they have been in the past but of course they are a massive threat.
"We have all had these situations. If you play against teams and they don't give you a lot of space, it is not too comfortable. A lot of teams struggle with that. We expect a very dangerous opponent. They have quality, if we go through the team it is a super team."
If Leicester do leave Anfield with a positive result, Jamie Vardy will most likely have played a big role.
The former England striker has scored seven goals in his eight Premier League appearances against Liverpool and he will be a major concern for Klopp and his defence.
"The speed he has, the finishing skills he has… Jamie is a fantastic striker," said Klopp. "Every fibre of his body is waiting on the decisive situations.
"He is more involved in defending than he was in the past but that doesn't make it easier to defend against him. He is a massive threat and he was always."
Liverpool beat Leicester earlier this season, and there are plenty of stats in their favour which suggest they could take another three points on Wednesday night…
Leicester have lost six of their last seven away Premier League games against Liverpool (D1), with their last win at Anfield coming in May 2000 (2-0).
Liverpool have not lost any of their last 19 home midweek games in the Premier League (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), winning 13 and drawing six since a 0-1 loss vs Fulham in May 2012.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 32 home Premier League games (W23 D9), the longest such run in the division since Man City went 37 without defeat between December 2010 and December 2012.
Liverpool are looking to win eight consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since March 2010. The Reds conceded as many goals in their last home league game against Crystal Palace as they had in their previous 15 at Anfield combined (3).
Leicester have lost each of their last 11 Premier League games against sides starting the day top of the table, conceding at least twice every time (27 in total) and scoring just five in return. Their last such win came on January 31st 1998 at Manchester United.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson: "It's hard to make a case against Liverpool. Leicester can be quite a dangerous side on their day but that's the problem, you just don't know what you are going to get from Puel's side from game to game.
It's hard to make a case against Liverpool.
"One minute they can be a right handful but the next they are getting beat. So for me, it's a Liverpool win."
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Follow Liverpool vs Leicester - and the rest of Wednesday's Premier League fixtures - with Soccer Special on Sky Sports News HD from 7.30pm and on the move with skysports.com or the Sky Sports app, where you'll be able to watch goals and highlights during the game.