15 min: Another defensive error from Leicester gifts possession to Jordan Henderson on the outskirts of the Leicester penalty area. He advances towards goal and unleashes a shot. Wilfred Ndidi half-blocks and sends the ball looping ominously in the direction of his own goal. With Schmeichel beaten, it drops just wide of the upright. But for Ndidi’s intervention, I suspect that would have gone in.
14 min: Salah plays the ball into the Leicester penalty area, trying to pick out Roberto Firmino. Jonny Evans sticks out a leg to make an important interception.
11 min: Leicester win a corner, when Andy Robertson puts a Maddison cross towards Vardy out of play. They take it and Liverpool attack on the counter. Sadio Mane plays a long pass towards Salah, who is through on goal in a one-on-one with Schmeichel.
A heavy touch from the Egyptian takes him away from goal and he finds himself attempting to shoot from a ridiculously narrow angle. He hits the side-netting, when he should have crossed for Mane and Firmino, who were up in support.
9 min: After a very shaky start, Leicester finally appear to be settling into their stride. They get forward courtesy of good work from Wilfred Ndidi and Tielemans, who try to play Vardy in behind the Liverpool defence. Alexander-Arnold is back to cover.
8 min: James Maddison wins a free-kick halfway inside their own half when James Maddison is felled by a kick on the ankle from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
8 min: Andy Robertson tries to drill a cross into the Leicester penalty area from the inside left channel, but his delivery is blocked.
7 min: Harvey Barnes is flagged for offside while chasing a pass from Youri Tielemans down the right flank.
5 min: Kasper Schmeichel is quick off his line to collect a Sadio Mane through-ball which Salah was chasing. It’s been a very strong start by Liverpool.
4 min: That was a poor miss from Mane, who perhaps wasn’t expecting the ball to come his way. He’s shinned it wide, when you’d have put the farm on him to open the scoring from inside the six-yard box.
2 min: Sadio Mane misses an excellent opportunity to put Liverpool ahead, getting in behind Jonny Evans to get on the end of a cross from the right from Mo Salah, the flight of which the defender misjudged. From a couple of yards out, he fails to make clean contact with the ball and somehow contrives to put it high and wide.
1 min: Trent Alexander-Arnold tries his luck with an early shot from outside the penalty area, forcing Kasper Schmeichel to make an early save.
Leicester City v Liverpool is go …
1 min: Liverpool get the ball rolling, their players wearing red shirts, shorts and socks. The players of Leicester wear their customary home strip of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks.
Out they go … Kasper Schmeichel and Jordan Henderson lead their respective teams out on to the pitch, where a bugler is playing the Post Horn Gallop to herald their arrival.
Not long now: The King Power Stadium is briefly shrouded in darkness, but it’s not because somebody forgot to put 50p in the meter, but merely a precursor to a pre-match light show. Kick-off is less than 10 minutes away.
Brendan Rodgers speaks: “He’s right up there,” Leicester’s manager says, when asked where Jamie Vardy ranks among the players he’s managed. “He’s a brilliant player for us, he sets the tone for everything. He’s a real talisman, and a great striker, but for us it’s all about the team.”
On Leicester’s chances of reeling in Liverpool: “There’s 10 points in it and that seems a lot but over a period of games it’s not a huge amount,” he says. “But we need a performance tonight, to forget about the title race and just perform well.”
Jurgen Klopp speaks. “I don’t have to think about things like this, because I am the one who has to prepare after this for [all our next games],” the Liverpool manager tells Amazon Prime Video, upon being asked if victory tonight would take Liverpool a significant step closer to winning the title. “You can win all those games but you can also lose them. I have never understood this talk [about winning the league] when we are less than halfway through the season. You can ask, but I can’t really answer because I don’t want to think about these things.”
Those line-ups: Leicester City make one change from the team that lost against Manchester City last weekend, with Ayoze Perez making way for Dennis Praet.
In the only change from the Liverpool team that started the World Club Cup final in Qatar, Gini Wijnaldum has recovered from his hamstring injury and starts in place of the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Leicester City v Liverpool line-ups
Leicester (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Barnes, Praet, Tielemans, Maddison, Vardy.
Subs: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Ward, Perez, Choudhury.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Keita, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Milner, Adrian, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Jones, Williams.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Early team news
With the possible exception of Harvey Barnes, who was due to undergo a fitness test today, Brendan Rodgers has a full Leicester squad to choose from, but his opposite number is not so lucky.
Jurgen Klopp must make do without Fabinho, who remains sidelined with the ankle ligament injury he suffered against Napoli and is a big loss in midfield. He is joined on the sidelines by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren, while Gini Wijnaldum is a slight doubt but expected to feature in some capacity after recovering from a hamstring injury.
When last they met …
A late, late James Milner winner from the penalty spot deep in added time earned Liverpool the points when these sides met at Anfield in early October.
Sadio Mane had given Liverpool a first half lead, only for James Maddison to equalise with 10 minutes remaining. With four minutes of added time behind them, a Marc Albrighton foul on Mane resulted in a penalty for Liverpool, which Milner dispatched with a minimum of fuss.
Premier League: Leicester City v Liverpool
Season’s greetings everyone and welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of the Boxing Day clash between Leicester City and Liverpool.
With a ten point lead at the top of the table, the newly crowned Club World Cup champions already look a shoo-in to win their first title since 1990 and a win tonight over their nearest rivals would give them a 13 point lead, having played one game fewer than tonight’s opponents. Manchester City, in third place, have today off ahead of their own potentially tough assignment at Wolves tomorrow.
Should Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers mastermind victory over his former side, Liverpool will remain in the box-seat as far as the title race is concerned, albeit having shown rare signs of fallibility. Kick-off is at 8pm (GMT), but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.