Premier League title race: 'It's still not over' - Liverpool legend Phil Thompson says league leaders should fear Leicester

Phil Thompson says Liverpool should fear Leicester in the Premier League title race
Phil Thompson says Liverpool should fear Leicester in the Premier League title race

Soccer Saturday pundit Phil Thompson discusses Leicester, Brendan Rodgers and their role in the Premier League title race.


Should Liverpool be worried about Leicester?

Jonny Evans: Leicester defender celebrates his goal against Aston Villa
Jonny Evans: Leicester defender celebrates his goal against Aston Villa

"They should be, and rightly so. They are not going away at the moment. People keep talking about Manchester City, but this side is playing out of their skin. They are resilient, strong in defence with Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans, while Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira, beside Liverpool’s, are probably the best full-backs in the league.

"It doesn’t surprise me. The only thing you look at is you know what the team is going to be. You can pick their starting XI more or less every week. It is a testament to the backroom staff and medical staff that these are the constant mainstays within the side. They have kept everybody fit which is absolutely terrific.

"The way they play football is great. Dare I say it, they have got more points at this stage than when they won the Premier League, and you can see exactly why. The team has got Brendan Rodgers’ fingerprints all over it.


Next six league fixtures

Liverpool: Watford (H) Leicester City (A) Wolves (H) Sheffield United (H) Tottenham (A) Man Utd (H)

Leicester: Norwich (H) Man City (A) Liverpool (H) West Ham (A) Newcastle (A) Southampton (H)


"They are far more possession based at times. They linked what they were good at when they won the league, playing it in the space over the top and doing this early to utilise Jamie Vardy’s pace, but they are keeping the ball too.

"With Claude Puel, it was possession without progression. Rodgers likes possession but likes to get the ball through the zones as quickly as possible, then when the opportunity arises, do what they do best and get it between the full-backs and centre-backs to cause problems.

"He has worked wonders at Leicester. They fully deserve the title of contenders, but there are crucial games coming up. Before Liverpool and Leicester face off on Boxing Day, Manchester City are at home to Leicester on the 21st December, which again is a huge game.

"Within the space of five days, there could be massive swings in the tile race."

Would Rodgers ultimately become the villain if Leicester were to beat Liverpool to the title?

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers: Masterminding a title race at Leicester

"I sat down with Brendan at Liverpool and he explained certain tactical decisions at Liverpool. It was excellent coaching and what he was putting on the tactics board came to fruition.

"That is the sense of a good coach, and it was unfortunate that he didn’t have the defence, which Liverpool have now, to go with the wonderful midfield and attacking philosophy to win the title.

"If he would have had this defence, they would never have lost a game, no word of a lie. They would have romped the league.

"Rodgers would be a villain yes, but he would have the upmost respect for Liverpool. There are no Liverpool fans that hold anything against him or class him as a failure. Things stagnated and then the opportunity of Jurgen Klopp became available."

See also: Rodgers rules out January sales

What can stop Liverpool winning the league now?

Liverpool celebrate Naby Keita's goal against Salzburg
Liverpool celebrate Naby Keita's goal against Salzburg in the Champions League

"Liverpool themselves, the way they play. If they are handed a lot of injuries this could be crucial. We have had them but haven’t had a lot, or perhaps a red card in a game which could come down to luck.

"Alisson had one but it came in the 75th minute. If they do have a blip, how quickly can they come out of it? Liverpool are not just a 12-man squad as it has been labelled sometimes. Players that have come in over the weeks have shown what a big and reliable squad they have.

"Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Naby Keita are coming back into form and this can play a massive part in results. It is still not over. Those are my final words.

"The title has never been won in December and there is plenty of work to do."


Watch: Klopp faces Barney at darts

Ahead of the PDC World Championships, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has tried his hand at darts with some mixed results.

Jurgen Klopp faced Raymond van Barneveld in a game of darts (picture via Sky Sports)
Click here to watch Jurgen Klopp face Raymond van Barneveld in a game of darts

Liverpool open Salzburg talks

Liverpool are confident of securing a bargain deal for RB Salzburg playmaker Takumi Minamino after opening talks with the Austrian club.

Takumi Minamino (centre): Pictured after RB Salzburg's defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League
Takumi Minamino (centre): Pictured after RB Salzburg's defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League

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