September 19, 2021

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Football and other sports news

Pereira, Ndidi and Soyuncu to make injury returns in Europa League, regulars rested

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Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira will return from injury in Thursday’s Europa League encounter at Zorya Luhansk, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Wednesday.

Ndidi underwent groin surgery in September while Soyuncu was sidelined in October with an abductor problem. Meanwhile, Pereira has not played since he suffered a knee ligament injury before the COVID-19 stoppage last season.

“Ndidi will play for us, Soyuncu too… Ricardo has played an Under-23s game,” Rodgers told reporters.

“They’re very important for us and it’s fantastic to have them back. (Timothy) Castagne is still out.

However, with Leicester already through to the knockout stages, Rodgers has rested regulars Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans and Youri Tielemans, with an eye on Sunday’s Premier League game at Sheffield United.

“We have left a few players behind – Evans, Tielemans, and Schmeichel,” Rodgers added. “They’ve been important for us and for their international teams. They need a rest, Jamie as well. It allows them to prepare for the game at the weekend.

“I’ve seen that tiredness in the team. They’re having to play so much. Jonny, Kasper and Youri are having to play international games and it’s the travel too.”

With the seniors given a rest, Rodgers will turn to the Under-23 players for the trip to Ukraine.

“It’s an opportunity to play some players who are making their comebacks from injury, but also some young players. But we still want to win the game,” Rodgers said.

“We will evaluate them here and most of them will be on the bench. We will play our three senior players, but they will come off and we’ll see if we can bring those players on.”

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