September 26, 2021

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James Maddison back in Leicester City squad for Manchester City clash

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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers will welcome James Maddison back into his squad for Saturday’s match against Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Maddison has been sidelined since February 24 with a hip injury, but returned to full training during an international window when he would otherwise have hoped to be turning out for England.

“It’s great news for us,” Rodgers said. “Clearly he’s not 100 per cent match fit but in terms of his football fitness he looks great.

“In the last few weeks he’s been working with the players we’ve had available and he’s stepped that up.

“He’s not reporting any pain and he looks great. Hopefully he can stay fit until the end of the season.”

Maddison will offer Rodgers a significant extra option at a time when Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho have combined well in attack, and Rodgers would not be drawn on how he might line up in a match where he expects Leicester to see limited amounts of the ball.

“The most important thing is his availability,” Rodgers said. “Then we look at what strategy we use. Ayoze (Perez) has been outstanding in the last few games in a role that suits his strength and running and also the mindset.

“But whatever strategy we bring into the game, I know the players I choose will give their all.”

Leicester beat Manchester City 5-2 back in September, part of a poor start to City’s campaign that left Pep Guardiola’s side languishing in mid-table.

But a run of 21 straight wins in all competitions helped them build a 14-point cushion at the top of the table and Rodgers is sure his side will be facing the champions this weekend.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt they will go on and win the league,” he said. “We of course want to make it as difficult as possible, but their level of consistency over a long period this season sees them out in front and if they go on and win it they will be very deserving.

“But all the teams they have to play want to make sure they have to fight for it and they have to earn it.”

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