2022 finale as Liverpool face Leicester, Cody Gakpo unveiled and Klopp praises Bellingham

liverpool v leicester december 2022 klopp and rodgers

Liverpool will host Leicester City at Anfield as they bid to end their 2022 on a high.

It’s nearly a year to the day that Liverpool lost to the same team, the reverse fixture 1-0 at the King Power Stadium, before going on an insane run of form, which ended in losing the title to Manchester City by a solitary point on the final day.

But their fortunes have not been so good. A tricky start to the season means they will finish the year outside the top four for only the second time ever under Jurgen Klopp.

But Leicester haven’t fared much better. Having occupied the relegation places for most of the beginning of the 22-23 season, they now find themselves languishing in mid-table.

A serious knee injury to their talisman James Maddison, prior to the World Cup in Qatar and his inclusion in the Finals squad, has seen him undergo surgery.

They are also without: Dennis Praet, Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand, James Justin and Ricardo Pereira.

Liverpool meanwhile are also without their own long-term absentees; Colombian ace Luis Díaz, Portugal’s Diogo Jota, whilst James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Arthur Melo and Curtis Jones are all out.

But the good news is that Ibrahima Konaté is available again following his World Cup exploits for France.

The probable line-ups are as follows:


Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcântara, Harvey Elliot, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Núñez.

Leicester City:

Danny Ward, Tomothy Castagne, Daniel Amartey, Wout Faes, Luke Thomas, Youri Tielemans, Boubakary Soumaré, Ayoze Pérez, Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka.

Liverpool would therefore be making one change from their 3-1 Boxing Day win against Aston Villa, with Elliot coming in for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who will probably need the rest physically with only a four-day turnaround, and given his injury record, seems the smart move.


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Leicester’s line up is more difficult to predict, but former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers likely to go strong up top.

That’s why bringing the experienced Jamie Vardy back into the fold, who has historically performed well against the big boys, given his impressive scoring record, alongside Pérez, the two likely changes following their thumping to Newcastle at home.

Eddie Howe’s team 3-0 winners at the King Power on Boxing Day means that The Foxes will be hurting, and are even more dangerous opponents for Liverpool.

Cody Gakpo arrives

The fixture has come too soon for new £37 million signing Cody Gakpo, who was unveiled this week at Liverpool’s Kirkby AXA Training Centre.

There he hugged the boss and spoke of his excitement at signing for the club.

“I feel really good and excited to be here. I’m looking forward to start training and playing for this amazing club at Anfield,” the Dutchman told LFCTV.

“I heard a lot of great stories about the stadium, about the atmosphere. I cannot wait.

“Obviously my aim is to win as many prizes as we can as a team, to perform well, and show the world what we can do as a team and what I can do as a player,” he said.

“And personally, just to keep developing and become a better player every season.”

And Klopp spoke glowingly of his new pupil.

“There is a lot to like about Cody,” the boss told the club’s official website.

He is still only 23 years old but already has a lot of experience.

“He was captain of PSV, player of the year in Holland last season and, as a lot of people have just seen, also had a great World Cup with his national team,” he said.

“So, it’s clear that he already is a really, really good player, but his age also means he has the potential to become even better.

“Offensively, he is very versatile, a smart footballer and person, so we’re really excited to work with him.”

Bellingham interest

If Gakpo wasn’t enough, Klopp recently spoke glowingly about England star Jude Bellingham, describing him as ‘exceptional’, thus confirming his admiration for the player.

“Everyone can see he is just exceptional.

“If you mention to someone who has no clue about football or has not watched it for a while: ‘How old do you think Jude Bellingham is?’, Klopp said.

“I don’t think anyone would even get close to his age. They would say 28 or 29 because he plays so mature. He played an exceptional World Cup. Absolutely exceptional.

“With all the things he has and things he can improve, to describe him I would say the things he can do are difficult to learn, and the things he can improve are easy to learn.

“So, yes, he’s a really good player.

Valued at approximately €125 million, and one of the best players in world football, now only time will tell if the club will support Klopp in landing one of their top transfer targets.


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James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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