The World Cup break was a blessing for some teams and a nightmare for others, and it has certainly proven to be the latter for Leicester, who are still searching for their first point let alone their first victory in the top flight since the Qatar tournament.
At the City Ground last weekend, the Foxes held out in the first 45 minutes before two strikes from Brennan Johnson- both set up by Morgan Gibbs-White – gave the Tricky Trees a thoroughly deserved win, although the story could have been different if Harvey Barnes did not miss a couple of gilt-edged chances.
From losing only one of their last six games before the World Cup to going on a dismal four-game losing run, the 15th-placed Foxes are now only two points clear of the dotted line as a relegation dogfight rears its ugly head, and their only win of the New Year so far was that 1-0 FA Cup success at an out-of-sorts Gillingham.
The transfer window may be open, but Leicester fans will not be holding their breath over any potential solutions to their attacking crisis, which has seen Rodgers’s men score just two goals in their last six matches and just one from their last four in the Premier League.
All three of the Foxes’ most recent top-flight home games have ended in defeat without a single goal being scored by those in blue, and even though the hosts have never suffered four consecutive scoreless league defeats on their own turf before, very few will back Rodgers’s side with any real confidence here.
The Leandro Trossard saga threatened to derail Brighton’s preparations for the visit of Liverpool to the Amex, but Roberto De Zerbi’s clinical outfit coped just fine in the absence of the AWOL Belgian, as Jurgen Klopp witnessed the ‘worst game’ of his Reds career.
After surviving a first-half penalty shout and getting to half time with their clean sheet intact, Liverpool’s defence soon crumbled, as Solly March bagged a brace before Danny Welbeck came off the bench to seal a phenomenal victory nine minutes from time.
Now basking in the glory of a three-game winning run in all tournaments – during which time they have scored a whopping 12 goals – Brighton are firmly in the European mix as they lie seventh in the rankings, just three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who lost to Manchester City on Thursday night.
Avergaeing over three goals per game in their last five matches – even scoring twice against leaders Arsenal and having a third disallowed for a marginal offside – Brighton will need to be wary of recent frailties at the back, as they have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League since August.
Leicester and Brighton played out a seven-goal thriller at the Amex earlier this season, which the Seagulls won 5-2, and De Zerbi is on the verge of leading the visitors to three successive Premier League victories for only the second time in the club’s history.