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Rodgers: Stuttering Leicester must embrace the challenge

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Stuttering Leicester must embrace the challenge - Rodgers

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said his side must “embrace the challenge” of what looks a daunting climax to their season after a 4-2 home drubbing by Newcastle United in the Premier League on Friday.

His side’s eighth home league defeat put a dent in their hopes of a top-four finish, leaving them in third spot in the standings with 63 points, two above Chelsea and five above fifth-placed West Ham United, both of whom have a game in hand.

Leicester’s last three league games are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. They also have an FA Cup final to prepare for against Chelsea.

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“We have made it a lot harder for ourselves but it is still in our hands,” said Rodgers, whose side let slip a top-four place at the death last season. “We have to fight and we are a group that is together.

“We have already beaten our total from last season. We have to embrace the challenge. We have three exciting games left plus a cup final and we are excited for the challenge.”

Leicester had 25 goal attempts against Newcastle but their defence was all at sea as Joe Willock and Paul Dummett gave Newcastle a 2-0 halftime lead before Callum Wilson’s second-half double made it 4-0 to the visitors.

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Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho scored late goals for Leicester but it was too little too late.

Leicester’s night had got off to a bad start when defender Jonny Evans was injured in the warmup.

“Jonny Evans is the brain of our backline and when he came out of the team that was a big blow for us. However, we should still defend better,” Rodgers said.

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“I will give credit to the players because they kept fighting and kept running to the end. Tonight it was just too many mistakes.”

While Leicester face an anxious climax to the season, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce’s players can breathe easier after moving 12 points clear of third-bottom Fulham and now look 99% certain of staying in the top flight.

“Absolutely pleasing, especially the first half. Some of the counter attacking was excellent, delighted with the win,” Bruce said. “We made it a bit hairy towards the end.

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“We are not safe, for the Premier League you can’t take it for granted. We are almost there. Until it is done, we have to get ready for the next challenge.”

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Expert issues ‘shock’ verdict on Ricardo Pereira comeback date

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Expert issues 'shock' verdict on Ricardo Pereira comeback date

Despite a broken leg, Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira might be out for as little as “six to eight weeks.”

According to Ben Dinnery, who operates the Premier Injuries website and has a background in medical and data analysis, this is the case.

In last Wednesday’s League Cup match at Anfield, Tyler Morton, 19, of Liverpool, avoided a red card for his rash challenge on Ricardo Pereira.

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As reported by The Sun last Sunday (26 December), Brendan Rodgers stated that Pereira had a “fractured fibula” as a result of the challenge.

It was the right-first back’s game back following a 12-match layoff due to a hamstring injury.

But, as Dinnery says, Pereira’s injury isn’t as serious as the average person may think.

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“We say broken leg and think it’s always long-term, but it shocks some people to know that’s not always true,” he told Football Insider‘s, Adam Williams.

“It’s a fractured fibula, so it’s non-weight-bearing. He isn’t exactly pain-free but on the scale of injuries, it isn’t too serious.

“There have been examples of players returning in four or five weeks. I would suggest in this instance that it is more likely to be six to eight weeks.

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“If we were looking at an ACL then it’s a significant amount of time on the sidelines, so he’ll be grateful it isn’t that.

“I’m not aware of any plans for surgery, so we can assume that it is non-displaced and doesn’t need any fixation.”

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To Lineker’s relief, Patson Daka can perfectly fill Vardy’s shoes

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Gary Lineker, like almost everybody else was worried that in Vardy’s absence, Leicester City would struggle to get goals and points. He admitted himself, “…before, without Vardy, you think: ‘Blimey, we are going to really struggle.”

But those worries are out through the window now, as Brendan Rodgers’ side seem to have found the right choice should Jaime run out of form or get injured. 23-year old Zambian, Patson Daka, sealed The Foxes’ win over Man United, then scored four times when his side thrashed Spartak Moscow in last week’s Europa League meet.

The Zambian is a needed relief for Gary, who now has less fears about his former team’s striking force. “…and it does look like they now have someone to line up as a replacement for Vardy,” Lineker said about Daka and Leicester.

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Gary praised Rodgers’ signings, terming certain players as great, and talents. “Generally, the recruitment has been just wonderful. According to the former England striker, one of Leicester’s latest signees, James Justin would have played for England had it not been for an injury.

Since getting back into the top flight League, then winning the title in 2015-2016, the Foxes have highly relied on Vardy as their main attacker, and his absence have most times landed the team in a tough sport.

But with such brilliant new signings, the 2021 FA Cup winners could be in for some great games and even trophies as they now have more options to choose from.

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Dennis Praet doesn’t know what he has that Brendan Rodgers doesn’t like

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Dennis Praet doesn’t know what he has that Brendan Rodgers doesn’t like

Former Sampdoria midfielder, Dennis Praet, recalls the great times he had at Leicester City and still can’t wrap his brains around what he did wrong to be sent away on loan. Apparently, the 27-year old likes England more than Italy, where he currently resides.

After a two-season time at Leicester where he thinks he performed well, the Belgian was loaned off to Torino for the 2021-2022 season, and he doesn’t think his form was bad enough to not play at Leicester.

Praet, who plays for the red-hot Belgium national team, says many people at the Premier League side Leicester City do not understand why he “disappeared” after last season. Well, he doesn’t know the reason either.

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The 2014 Belgian Golden shoe winner left Italian side Sampdoria for the EPL in 2019 and seemingly didn’t think he would be rejoining Serie A so soon, that too on loan.

“I must have something that Brendan Rodgers doesn’t like, but I don’t know what,” Praet lamented, obviously feeling that from his side, he hasn’t done anything worth being sidelined or “lend away.”

Torino have him on loan but can also buy him for 15 million pounds when the season ends. If he impresses, he might go back to Leicester next season, or have Torino hold on to him.

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When 2021-2022 ends, his display at Torino will play the biggest part in whatever happens and his career afterwards. Hopefully, he will have the answers to his questions by then.

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