Jurgen Klopp’s men have the chance to lift the Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong, although they will have to get past the Foxes first
While there is still just under a month to go before the Premier League kicks off, fans can get a taste of the action early with this month’s Asia Trophy.
Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion compete for the trophy in Hong Kong, with the first pair playing in the second match on Wednesday.
Liverpool favourites to win Asia Trophy final
Will this be the start of a season to remember for Jurgen Klopp’s men? Or could the Eagles prove tricky customers themselves?
|Game||Leicester City vs Liverpool|
|Date||Saturday, July 22|
|Time||20:30 (local) / 13:30 BST|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the United Kingdom, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports Premier League and by stream via the SkyGo app .
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League||Sky Go|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
Even more than the semi-final victory over Crystal Palace, Liverpool will be perhaps most pleased about the fact that all of their Asia Trophy participants emerged from that first match unscathed and with a clean bill of health.
New boys Dominic Solanke, who scored one of the Reds’ goals, and Mohamed Salah both made positive impressions in their outings and should also feature in Saturday’s final.
Divock Origi also hit the net and moved after the final whistle to restate his commitment to staying at Anfield. “I only thought about coming back, preparing and being here for the pre-season,” said the 22-year-old, who has seen himself become a target for the likes of Lyon, Marseille and Monaco in the current transfer window.
Henderson feeling no injury issues
Leicester, meanwhile, saw Riyad Mahrez net during their 1-1 draw against West Brom in a tie that was eventually won on penalties. The Foxes subsequently revealed their “polite” dismissal of an offer from Roma for their enigmatic playmaker, who will remain at the club at the very least long enough to play on Saturday.
Craig Shakespeare used a total of 21 players in the meeting with the Baggies, with only goalkeeper Ben Hamer playing the full 90 minutes. Kasper Schmeichel sat on the bench, but could be preferred by the manager for the weekend’s decider as Leicester seek their first silverware since that Premier League triumph back in 2015-16.
Liverpool are 4/6 favourites to win the final, according to dabblebet , while Leicester are 15/4 to prevail. A draw is given at 11/4.
Liverpool were given few problems in their opening Asia Trophy clash, as they outclassed Palace and ran out comfortable winners. Leicester, however, should pose a trickier prospect for Jurgen Klopp and his charges, even if the Foxes did not exactly set the world on fire in their semi.
Neither side has won the biennial Asia Trophy before, and success on Saturday will give a welcome boost ahead of the Premier League season.
When does the transfer window close?
The Reds will surely look to push their rivals onto the back foot, and have the firepower up front to make the difference. Salah and Solanke’s rapid adaptation to their new club will have come as a big relief to Klopp, and with plenty of talent elsewhere in the squad they have the chance to make a real statement going into 2017-18.
Leicester, meanwhile, showed against West Brom that Mahrez continues to be vital to their chances. Holding on to the Algerian in this transfer window would be the best news possible for the Foxes, but with plenty of suitors it does not look an easy task.
Mahrez will have to be on top of his game to inspire Leicester to victory, with the sensation from Wednesday that outside of the playmaker Shakespeare’s men have precious little to offer in the opposition area even if their defence remains as solid as ever.