Form teams aim for victory against lower placed opposition.

As it was about to close the transfer window had a brick thrown through it. That same brick also broke illusion the world was in a recession.

A few days earlier Fernando Torres, Liverpool’s leading goal scorer and Kop idol, handed in a written transfer request.  Fenway Sports Group, Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli swiftly placed a £50 million price tag on their prized asset. El Nino was not only one of the world’s best strikers but his commercial power was very significant to the Anfield outfit.

But there are only three clubs with that sort of money, Manchester City, Real Madrid and the Roman Abramovich bankrolled Chelsea. City had just spent £27 million on Edin Dzeko and with Real Madrid being Torres’ childhood team city rivals it was left to Chelsea to write the cheque.

Liverpool had to sign a replacement. They had been lacking in firepower for several seasons, losing Torres would leave them very little up front.

Considering the Financial Fair Play and Homegrown Rules Andy Carroll was soon purchased from Newcastle United. The 21 year old England international – alright so it’s one cap – was an ideal replacement. His talent, height, game play, age, nationality and, of course, potential makes Carroll a shoe in.

But he is injured.

That’s the key here. While Liverpool can’t use their most expensive signing Leicester are fully utilising their entire £35 million to maximum capacity.

The graph below shows how the two teams have performed in the league up until 11th February 2011. Both teams had a upturn in fortunes after changing managers. Bottom of the Championship, Leicester City could only improve after Paulo Sousa was replaced by Sven-Goran Eriksson at the end of October. Liverpool fans were put out of their misery in January of this year as Roy Hodgson’s disastrous reign came to an end when owners FSG showed him the door and invited the legendary Kenny Dalglish to manage the club nearly 20 years after he resigned from the post.

Currently sitting eight in the Championship table, Leicester City need all the help they can get to finish in the coveted top six. Four points off that place is close, but the chasing pack is large in number and this division is notoriously hard to get out of.

City are on a great run, sitting second in the form table and are undefeated in the league since the turn of the year. The Foxes hope to continue that form this weekend with a short trip to 17th place Derby County.

The Leicester City squad has been strengthened further with the capture of Jeffrey Bruma on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season.

So what of Liverpool’s latest signing? Andy Carroll is not fit enough to be part of the squad that welcomes Wigan Athletic to Anfield on Saturday as he continues his rehabilitation from a thigh injury.

“Andy is progressing very well. We never gave a date and we won’t put a date on it- we just said it would be a few weeks,” said Dalglish at Thursday’s press conference. “As long as we’re patient and Andy is patient we’ll be OK, but we won’t be rushing him back.”

The Reds though will hope to put another three points on the board despite niggling injuries to Steven Gerrard, Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel. Third position in the form table and unbeaten in four shows the resurgence under Kenny Dalglish is continuing with great effect.


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