Brendan Rodgers Insists Christmas Fixtures Are Ridiculous

Brendan Rodgers Insists Christmas Fixtures Are Ridiculous
Brendan Rodgers Insists Christmas Fixtures Are Ridiculous

Brendan Rodgers thinks it’s ‘crazy’ that his Leicester City squad will face Liverpool barely over 48 hours after suffering a humiliating defeat to champions Manchester City.

Leicester, who are presently tenth in the Premier League, have added Ryan Bertrand to their injury list after he was hurt in the warm-up before their 6-3 defeat at the Etihad.

“It’s a ridiculous schedule,” said Rodgers.

“However, we have to play the game so there will be virtually no physical work, just recovery and then we’ll look at video images and prepare.”

Bertrand joins Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu, and Ricardo Pereira on the sidelines, adding to the strain on a porous defence.

Rodgers also has a problem upfront, with attacker Jamie Vardy unlikely to be ready for the Liverpool game and midfielders Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka nearly certain to miss out.

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Despite trying to erase a four-goal lead in the first half, Leicester were soundly defeated on Boxing Day. Manchester City had not played in over a week before to the match, allowing them some much-needed rest during the busy holiday season.

Both his team’s previous and next opponents were able to recover after games were cancelled, according to Rodgers.

He said: “This period [off for both teams] clearly is a big advantage and it is just coincidence the context of these two games is probably one of the first weeks Manchester City have had off so they were fresh and ready, and Liverpool haven’t played since our cup game so they’ll be able to bring players back in.

“We’ll train a little bit later [on Monday], we’ll have a meal together. It’s a very quick turnaround and to play Manchester City and Liverpool in quick succession is a big challenge, especially with the squads they have. We’ll do what we’ve done in this period, our very best. And that’s what we’re prepared to do on Tuesday.”

It is hoped that midfielder Wilfred Ndidi will be fit for the clash with Liverpool having sat on the bench against Manchester City.“Wilf has played a lot of football for us so he hasn’t had a chance to rest,” said Rodgers.

“To put him into [the City] game would have been really tough. Hopefully, he’ll be fine for Tuesday’s game.”

Of Bertrand, Rodgers said: “It looks highly unlikely [for Liverpool], he couldn’t bend his leg. Especially with the quick turnaround, he may struggle. Jonny [Evans] will be another three weeks so he’s still out for a period and Harvey [Barnes] isn’t due back until about the 29th.”

Rodgers joins the ranks of Premier League managers concerned with a condensed festive schedule, with Covid exacerbating already stretched squads.


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