LONDON: Liverpool will seek to sign off their pre-Christmas Premier League duties in style against their whipping boys Watford this weekend while Leicester attempt to stay in touch before a summit meeting later this month.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are eight points clear of their nearest pursuers as they prepare to jet out to Qatar for the Club World Cup. On Friday, Klopp agreed a contract extension with Liverpool until 2024.
“For me personally this is a statement of intent, one which is built on my knowledge of what we as a partnership have achieved so far and what is still there for us to achieve,” the 52-year-old Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.”
Meanwhile, Watford, with new manager Nigel Pearson at the helm, will not be relishing the trip to Anfield, where they have lost 6-1, 5-0 and 5-0 on their past three visits.
Pep Guardiola takes his stumbling Manchester City team to face Arsenal while Manchester United look to keep up their push for a top-four spot at home to Everton.
Jamie Vardy, who turns 33 next month, is out on his own at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, with 16 goals in 16 games.
Those goals have helped Leicester win a club-record eight consecutive top-flight matches by an aggregate score of 25-3. The former England man has struck in all of those victories.
In an ordinary season, Brendan Rodgers’ side might be top of the league but they are doggedly pursuing a Liverpool team who have won 15 of their 16 games.
If Vardy nets against Norwich and Manchester City in Leicester’s next two games, he would give himself the chance to equal his own Premier League record of goals in 11 straight games against Liverpool on Dec. 26.
Vardy says he is more concerned about results for the team than finding the back of the net.
“I’m obviously over the moon,” said the forward, referring to his goalscoring record this season. “But first and foremost, the points are for Leicester.”
Frank Lampard is desperate not to squander the good work he has done with his young side in the early months of the season but is weighing up where he can strengthen now he is able to sign players in January.
The club’s FIFA-imposed transfer ban following violations in the recruitment of minors, was reduced on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last week.