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Depleted Liverpool find the capacity and resolve to fend off Leicester | Jonathan Wilson

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A title win this season would come in spite of a string of injuries – whether it ends up being Liverpool or any other team etaining the title is hard, proverbially harder than winning it the first time – although that clearly to an extent depends on what you’re up against.

But if Liverpool do become the 27th side in English league history successfully to defend their crown, they will have done so in conditions more different to the initial success than any of their predecessors.



The absence of fans is the most obvious difference and, perhaps when chasing a winner or defending a narrow lead at Anfield, Liverpool will miss that added impetus.



Although they scored three times and hit the woodwork three times, this was a victory based less in attacking flair but in the way Liverpool shut Leicester down.



Roberto Firmino did finally get his goal and, in the end, Liverpool could easily have won by more.

And everybody is struggling with injuries: Liverpool were without three of their first-choice back four, their captain and their right-sided forward, then lost Naby Keïta to a hamstring problem early in the second half; Leicester with one of their first-choice centre-backs, both their first choice wing-backs and their best defensive midfielder.

That has changed the dynamic of this season profoundly.
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