Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits the busy fixture schedule is ‘not good’ as his depleted squad prepare to take on Manchester City and Liverpool within 48 hours
- Brendan Rodgers has added his voice to the concerns over player welfare
- Leicester could be without seven first-teamers for Manchester City game
- The Foxes are also about to lose four other stars to the Africa Cup of Nations
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has added his voice to the growing concern over this year’s holiday schedule and insisted it is ‘not good’ for the players.
Rodgers takes his Foxes to leaders Manchester City with Jamie Vardy among seven first-teamers unlikely to make the game through injury.
The Leicester boss is about to lose four other stars – Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Nampalys Mendy – to the Africa Cup of Nations, with the quartet due to fly to Camroon on January 3.
Leiceste boss Brendan Rodgers has added his voice to the concerns over player welfare
And with his depleted squad facing the champions on Sunday and Liverpool barely 48 hours later, Rodgers has raised his concerns about the strain on players.
‘Any coach or manager in this period is particularly busy, even when you have a full strength squad,’ he said.
‘But to be playing Man City on Sunday, to be playing Liverpool again on Tuesday, it’s not good for the players, simply the health and welfare of them.
Jamie Vardy is among seven first-teamers who could miss the game against Manchester City
‘It’s not ideal but obviously it has been said we have to play on for another two weeks then take it from there.
‘If that’s the case we just look to be as competitive as we can, like we were at Liverpool, with the injuries and everything else, we were competitive. That’s how we always try and approach it.’
Vardy, who scored a hat-trick in Leicester’s shock 5-2 win away at City last season, picked up a hamstring injury in the midweek Carabao Cup defeat at Liverpool while defenders Ricardo Pereira and Caglar Soyuncu limped off.
They join forward Harvey Barnes and keeper Danny Ward who are ruled out plus defenders Jonny Evans and Timothy Castagne who are rated highly doubtful.
Leicester are set to lose four players including Wilfred Ndidi to the Africa Cup of Nations
But Rodgers is not looking for excuses as his side try and prevent City from collecting a ninth consecutive Premier League win.
‘That’s our job. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves,’ he said. ‘No matter what players are available or not available, we want to be competitive.
‘We know it’s a huge challenge to play a team at the top with the form they are in but it’s a challenge we will embrace and we will be ready for it.
‘They’re playing well at the moment. We just have to see where we are at in the next couple of days and try and devise a plan with the players available.’