Henderson Lucas Liverpool
Liverpool will need to be at their best, and then some, to get the better of Leicester CityReuters

When Liverpool named Jurgen Klopp as their new manager, many Reds fans would have envisaged playing this Boxing Day clash at Anfield against Leicester City looking down on most of their opponents, not craning their necks and barely being able to see the top team in the English Premier League.

And that top team is not Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United, but their opponents on Boxing Day – Leicester City – a team filled with gloriously-likeable players and a manager – Claudio Ranieri -- who has had the midas touch this season, turning everything into gold and better,

Liverpool are currently ninth in the table, a full 14 points behind top-of-the-table Leicester, and a win is an absolute must for Klopp's side, if they are to entertain the possibility of not just finishing in the top four, but going just that little bit further.

"I have big respect for Claudio and the whole Leicester squad because they are doing really well," Klopp said. "If you're not playing against them, then they are easy to enjoy."

Enjoy is definitely one of the ideal words to describe Leicester City, coming off an impressive 3-2 win over Liverpool's Merseyside rivals Everton, this season, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, in particular, lighting up the Premier League. The success is not just down to those two, though – Ngolo Kante is the perfect example of a player who has been outstanding all season – the entire team seems to be functioning like a well-oiled machine at the moment.

"Now they must enjoy," Ranieri said of his players, who put Leicester two points on top at Christmas. "They must play free without pressure. It's stupid if we have pressure. Why? Enjoy. All the world are speaking about you.

"Continue to play how you're playing. You can win, you can lose – it's OK. Sooner or later, I hope more later, we'll lose a match.

"That's normal. We must continue to play and to work hard. We know very well our stamina is good and until our stamina isn't good, we can continue to fight against everybody."

Liverpool, who were woeful in a 3-0 defeat to Watford last weekend, will have to produce a performance akin to the one against Manchester City a while back to inflict what will be just the second defeat of the season for Ranieri's men.

"They don't need too many chances to score goals," Klopp said. "They have two obvious strong strikers with perfect runs, no injuries, can go all week and they have a long week to train and recover.

"You have to use this situation and that's what they've done. It's really deserved and I'm not surprised anymore, nobody is. This is real quality. They have a real style to their play and that's successful.

"It's no coincidence, it's really hard work. They deserve the run they are in. It's good defending and nearly perfect counter-attacking football, it's really quick and high quality. They have had luck with injuries, in not [suffering] too many. That's what you need in situations like Leicester."

The injury problems for Leicester are not too bad again going into this game, with only Danny Drinkwater missing from the he-is-a-shoo-in-in the-starting-lineup list. Matty James and Ritchie De Laet remain on the treatment table, and while Robert Huth returns from suspension in a boost to Leicester's defence, Liverpool have been dealt a big blow in that department, with Klopp losing Martin Skrtel through a hamstring injury.

Fellow centre-back Dejan Lovren, though, is back in the squad along with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, but James Milner and Daniel Sturridge remain out.

Where to Watch Live

Get the highlights of the match HERE

The EPL match between Liverpool and Leicester City is scheduled for a 3 pm local time (8.30 pm IST, 10 am ET) start. Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 will broadcast the match live in India, while the online live streaming options are on Hotstar and Starsports.com.

There will be no live TV coverage for viewers in the UK. Australia viewers can watch the EPL game live on Fox Sports, while the online live streaming options are on Fox Sports On Demand and Foxtel Play.

Watch the Chelsea play Sunderland live in the US on NBC Sports Network, with the live stream option on NBC Sports Live Extra. Audience in Canada can watch the action live on TSN1 and TSN TV.

PPTV Sports and LeTV will broadcast the match live in China and Hong Kong, while viewers in Singapore can watch the match live on 104 mio, with live coverage of the match in Thailand on CTH.

Also read