Leicester City vs Liverpool Preview: Asia Trophy concludes as Foxes meet Reds in the final

Pre-season preparations in Hong Kong will draw to a close this weekend for Leicester City, who are looking to continue their fine start to their season with victory of Liverpool in Saturday's final.

Leicester City vs Liverpool Preview: Asia Trophy concludes as Foxes meet Reds in the final
Leicester and Liverpool will face each other on Saturday in the Asia Trophy final in Hong Kong - Photo: Getty/Marcio Rodrigo Ferreira Machado

Leicester City take on Liverpool on Saturday in the Premier League Asia Trophy final on Saturday as preparations ahead of the 2017-18 campaign start to take full swing.

Following a tight 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, Craig Shakespeare's side claimed victory in a nervy penalty shoot-out, 7-6, with Marc Albrighton scoring the winning spot kick.

The clash with the Baggies was the Foxes' first game in a hectic pre-season schedule and Saturday's contest with Liverpool will be an even tougher ask as Shakepeare's side continue preparations for the new Premier League campaign, which begins on Friday 11 August against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

The clash will be Liverpool's fourth clash after they earned a comfortable 2-0 victory over fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace.

A pleasing start

Despite the clash with West Brom being just the Foxes' first game of pre-season, it was certainly an encouraging display from Leicester. 

Despite falling being through an early Jay Rodriguez strike from distance, the Foxes showed great spirit and levelled through Riyad Mahrez's effort in the 24th minute.

The Midlands outfit looked confident throughout and could have easily won the game with Islam Slimani and Jamie Vardy missing good opportunities.

However defensively the Foxes had to remain switched on, with the Baggies looking dangerous in the latter stages.

The contest ended all square and using the new 'ABBA' style format for penalties, the Foxes won 7-6 with Albion's Sam Field the only player to miss a spot-kick.

Mahrez the stand-out in Foxes first run-out

Leicester's performance levels were good. Despite announcing his plans to leave the club, Algerian Mahrez performed superbly during his spell on the pitch, scoring a goal and creating a number of opportunities.

In midfield, Matty James, named captain by Shakespeare, performed well alongside Wilfred Ndidi.

New signings Harry Maguire and Vicente Iborra impressed with good performances, as young defenders Callum Elder and Elliot Moore also gained important experience within the first-team.

Before the game, Leicester bolstered their goalkeeping options with the signing of goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic from Hull City on a three-year deal with the club.

The 32-year-old impressed last season at the KCOM Stadium having broken into the side. The Swiss could be in line for an appearance in the final this weekend. The Foxes are also expected to complete the signing of Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City, with a buy-back clause expected to be inserted in the deal.

Tough game ahead against Reds

Whilst the Foxes have played just once so far this season, their opponents are looking sharper than ever and progressed to Saturday's final with a routine win over Palace.

After a tight first-half with opportunities aplenty, goals from summer signing Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi inspired the Reds to victory.

The game was another opportunity for Liverpool fans to witness the potential of new signing Mohammed Salah, whose electric pace caused problems for the Palace defence throughout, with the Egyptian international looking the bright spark in the Reds' attack during his spell on the pitch. 

Ahead of the game on Saturday, the Reds could complete the signing of Hull City left-back Andrew Robertson, with the Scottish international close to moving for a fee in the region of £10 million. 

Liverpool have already endured a number of matches already this summer, including a convincing 4-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers, and a 1-1 draw against League One outfit, Wigan Athletic, a game in which Salah opened his account for the club.

Busy schedule to follow for both teams

Following Saturday's final in Hong Kong, Leicester will return to England and resume preparations for the new campaign with a number of fixtures against football league sides.

Their clashes include visits to Championship duo Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burton Albion. Then, a week before the new campaign, Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach will visit the King Power Stadium.

​For the Reds, preparations for their opening day visit to Watford will continue with a number of pre-season fixtures, as a trip to Germany awaits.

Liverpool will take on Hertha Berlin then Bayern Munich and one of Napoli or Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup before facing Athletic Bilbao a week before the trip to the Hornets.

Last season, Liverpool and Leicester met on two occasions, with the home sides victorious in both.

In September, in front of an expectant crowd at Anfield, Liverpool claimed a 4-1 victory thanks to a brace from Roberto Firmino and goals from Sadio Mané and Adam Lallana.

In February, following the sacking of Italian Claudio Ranieri, who led the Foxes to the Premier League title nine months before, Leicester claimed a 3-1 victory at the King Power thanks to a double from Jamie Vardy and a superb strike from Danny Drinkwater.

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