Leicester Players Showing Symptoms Of Coronavirus – Rodgers

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers reacts following the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 3, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

A number of Leicester players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been “kept away from the squad”, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday.

As it stands, a full Premier League programme is scheduled for this weekend, with third-placed Leicester due to travel to struggling Watford on Saturday, despite widespread cancellations of matches across Europe.

The game between Manchester City and Arsenal on Wednesday was postponed as a “precautionary measure” after Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus.

Leicester boss Rodgers, quoted on the club’s official Twitter feed, said at his pre-match press conference that disruption would be a “shame” but public health was more important than football.

“We’re guided by football and federations,” he said. “We have to press on with our work and prepare as normal.”

“The game is all about the players and the fans,” he added. “If you have one of those not there, it’s obviously not the same.”

Several Arsenal players are in self-isolation after Marinakis contracted coronavirus but they are expected to return to training on Friday.

Marinakis met several Arsenal players when the Gunners hosted the Greek side in a Europa League match last month.

Serie A in Italy, the European country worst hit by the virus, has already suspended its matches until April 3 while France’s Ligue 1 will continue its season but without spectators.

Real Madrid went into quarantine on Thursday after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive for the virus and La Liga announced Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for at least two weeks.

AFP

Leicester Manager Confident Vardy Will End Goalless Run

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on February 14, 2020. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is confident Jamie Vardy will end his current drought and reach a century of Premier League goals.

The former England forward, 33, has scored 97 times in the top-flight but has failed to find the net in nine matches in all competitions.

Rodgers, whose side travel to bottom side Norwich on Friday, said he had no worries about Vardy’s recent poor for form.

“It is only a matter of time before he gets back to scoring goals again,” he said. “He doesn’t look like the nervous type to me.”

Vardy found the net in eight successive matches from mid-October through to early December but has just one goal in his past 12 games.

“Sometimes you get a run like it,”  Rodgers said. “Probably when he came back from his (glute) injury (in late January) he was maybe not quite up to speed.

“But I thought against Manchester City (in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat), you saw the return of that running power and speed.

“I have no doubt he will get the goals and beyond that. You don’t force it, you don’t put the pressure on, he knows that is his job. As long as he is contributing, then I’m fine.”

Vardy’s drought has coincided with Leicester’s inconsistent form since mid-December. They have collected just 15 points from the past 36 on offer.

Former Celtic boss Rodgers said his side, third in the Premier League table, could not afford to rely on Vardy’s goals.

“You have threats from various parts of the team, and for long periods of this season we had a central threat with Jamie, and other guys were working hard, and they started to contribute, but it’s dried up a little bit,” he said.

“It’s a team responsibility. The strikers are important, but there are other things.

“Look at Roberto Firmino at Liverpool — he’s scored 10, but you look at his influence in the team and what he gives and allows to the other players.”

AFP

Euro Ban Will Make Man City Stronger, Says Rodgers

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on February 14, 2020. AFP

 

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers believes Manchester City will use their shock European ban to inspire them to a successful end to the season.

Pep Guardiola’s side were hit with a two-year suspension from the Champions League and Europa League and fined 30 million euros by UEFA on Friday for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.

Leicester face City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday in the Premier League champions’ second game since the ban.

Second-placed City, who plans to appeal against the suspension, beat West Ham 2-0 on Wednesday to four points clear of third-placed Leicester in the Premier League table.

While Guardiola’s men are 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, Rodgers doesn’t expect any slip in City’s standards following the ban, with this season’s Champions League, the FA Cup and League Cup all available as potential trophies to ease their pain.

“It will galvanise them as a squad, these types of situations where there are questions around the club,” Rodgers told reporters on Thursday.

“The players will become stronger for it, they will show that spirit, I’m pretty much sure of that.

“They’ll want to show no matter what the issues are, they’re still very talented players.

“It’s an ongoing process, of course, but I think for Pep and his players they’ll be very determined to finish the season as strong as they can, in every competition they are in.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers denied Leicester have made any approach to sign Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana.

Lallana, 31, is out of contract at the end of the season and it has been reported Leicester have spoken to his representatives.

But Rodgers, in charge at Liverpool when they signed Lallana from Southampton in 2014, insisted no contact had been made.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff around Adam and that we’ve approached Liverpool and what not, which obviously isn’t the case,” he said.

“But Adam is a wonderful player and not only that he’s got a great attitude.

“When I took him into Liverpool he was unfortunate early on with injuries, but he showed when he’s fit and available he’s a fantastic player.

“He’s at the stage of his contract where he will have options I’m sure. But certainly, what’s been put out there over these last few days, it’s not the case.”

AFP

Wilfred Ndidi Likely To Undergo Surgery

Wilfred Ndidi,

 

Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi could be ruled out for several weeks after Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers revealed he may need surgery.

Nigeria international Ndidi was missing from Leicester’s squad for their League Cup semi-final first leg against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Rodgers said Ndidi suffered an injury in Tuesday’s training session and may face an operation, although he did not specify what the problem is.

“Wilf took a knock in training yesterday, which unfortunately means he might need a slight operation tomorrow,” Rodgers said.

“That’ll put him out for a few weeks, but it’s not overly serious, so hopefully, going into February, he’ll be fit and ready to go again.”

If Ndidi misses the rest of the month he will sit out five Leicester games, including their semi-final second leg at Villa on January 28.

AFP

Rodgers Rules Out January Departures From Leicester

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers arrives for the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Leicester at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on December 8, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out any departures during the January transfer window as he attempts to keep pace with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

The Foxes host struggling Norwich on Saturday aiming to stay within striking distance of leaders Liverpool, who are heading off for the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar after their match against Watford.

England pair Ben Chilwell and James Maddison, along with midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, have all been touted as potential targets for rival clubs in the transfer window but Rodgers insisted there would be no departures.

“There will be nobody leaving in January, categorically,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday saying he had the support of  the club’s director of football Jon Rudkin and chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha.

“I am speaking regularly with Jon and Top,” Rodgers said.

“It is really clear, we want to keep this squad together. It is an exciting team with growth and development in it, so we want to ensure they stay around beyond January.”

Leicester have won a club-record eight straight top-flight games under Rodgers, who was last week rewarded with a new contact until 2025.

The Leicester boss said the club’s run of victories had led to speculation about players such as Maddison, whose form he described as “absolutely brilliant”.

The former Liverpool and Celtic manager added that Leicester, who won the Premier League under Claudio Ranieri in 2015/16, would attempt to strengthen the squad if the right opportunity presented itself.

“We have got a top squad and want to continue to improve,” he said. “That is very important. But there has to be the availability and someone who is affordable for us.”

AFP

Rodgers Signs New Leicester Deal, Ending Arsenal Link

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Watford at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 4, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Brendan Rodgers has committed his long-term future to Leicester City, ending speculation linking him with the vacant Arsenal manager’s job.

The Northern Irishman moved to Leicester from Celtic in February after winning seven trophies in just under three years in charge in Scotland.

The 46-year-old has taken Leicester to second in the Premier League behind Liverpool, with 11 wins from 15 matches this season.

Leicester, the 2015/16 Premier League champions, have won their past seven league games to equal their top-flight record for consecutive victories.

Rodgers’ success at the King Power Stadium saw him linked heavily with the Arsenal manager’s job after the sacking last week of Unai Emery.

“When I made the decision to come to Leicester City, it was because I was excited about the direction the club was taking and how I could apply my experience to the journey,” said Rodgers, who went close to winning the Premier League with Liverpool in 2014.

“I came here with a purpose to add something to that and to help the club build for the future,” added Rodgers in a statement issued by the club.

Rodgers said talks about the contract had been going on before Emery was sacked.

“We’ve been talking for a few weeks,” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game at Aston Villa. “It’s a great club. We just want to keep progressing.

“We’re looking to continue on the legacy. We don’t have the wealth of the top six, but perhaps we can do this in a different way.”

Leicester City Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “Brendan’s qualities as a coach are well-known and evident in the way he has sought to unlock the potential in every member of our exciting young squad.

“But just as important to us is the suitability of Brendan’s wider philosophy to the club’s established culture and values.”

AFP

I Will Not Put Pressure On My Players, Says Leicester’s Rodgers

Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers reacts following the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 3, 2019. Leicester won the match 2-0. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said he will not put extra pressure on his players by publicly targeting a top four finish in the Premier League after a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace moved the Foxes up to third.

Rodgers’s men smashed Southampton 9-0 last Friday, but were made to work much harder for all three points by a resilient Palace.

Caglar Soyuncu’s stooping header from James Maddison’s corner just before the hour mark made the breakthrough and Jamie Vardy’s hot streak continued when he finished off an excellent team move two minutes from time.

Leicester edge ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and six points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who they host next weekend, in the early battle for a place in next season’s Champions League.

“The team is playing well. We are not getting carried away and I’m not going to trap the players with any sort of pressure,” said Rodgers.

“They understand we are trying to create something here that we can sustain. With 10 games to go let’s see where we are.”

After their free-scoring football against a dishevelled Southampton, the visitors had to live off scraps for long spells at Selhurst Park to grind out the win.

“There’s great pride in the team today. After the historical win and performance last week this is where you earn your money here,” added Rodgers.

Vardy had the best opportunity of an uninspired first half when a wonderful Maddison pass freed the former England international in behind, but he could not force the ball beyond Vicente Guaita from a narrow angle.

Set-pieces seemed the most likely source of a goal for either side early on and Jonny Evans headed the first warning shot from the visitors looping just over moments later.

Evans threatened again when he met a Maddison corner with a towering header that Guaita turned over the bar.

However, from the resulting corner, Leicester made the breakthrough when Soyuncu stooped to head home.

Palace have scored just four goals in their first six home games of the season and their lack of a goal threat was clear as they probed for an equaliser without ever forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a serious save.

“I think they’ve got a lot of gifted players in their team, and they carry a very clear goal threat, which we can be accused of not having,” said Palace boss Roy Hodgson. “We have to work very hard for our goal chances.”

Leicester then produced one of the few real moments of quality in the game to seal all three points when Vardy played a one-two with substitute Demarai Gray before drilling into the bottom corner with his left foot for his 10th goal of the season.

“The service he’s getting now is elevating them to a team in the top four,” added Hodgson of Vardy, who he previously managed as England boss.

“They are there on merit because that’s how well they are playing and that’s how good their squad is.”

AFP

Leicester Welcome Rodgers With Win, Newcastle End Burnley Run

Celtic’s Irish coach Brendan Rodgers gestures during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg football match between Valencia CF and Celtic at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on February 21, 2019.
JOSE JORDAN / AFP

 

New Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers watched on from the stands as the Foxes beat Brighton 2-1, while Newcastle pulled further clear of the relegation battle by defeating Burnley 2-0 on Tuesday.

Rodgers was confirmed as Claude Puel’s successor just before kick-off at the King Power after dramatically leaving Celtic despite being on course for a third domestic treble of trophies in Scotland.

The Northern Irishman saw what his new side are capable of as Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy put the hosts into a 2-0 lead before Davy Propper pulled a goal back to ensure a nervy finish.

However, Brighton’s alarming slide towards the bottom three continued as they could not find an equaliser and now have not won in seven league games.

Newcastle are headed in the other direction as once again they were inspired by the performance of record signing Miguel Almiron to end Burnley’s eight-game unbeaten Premier League run.

Fabian Schar’s stunning long-range effort put Rafa Benitez’s men in front before Sean Longstaff scored his first goal for the club to give Newcastle a commanding half-time lead they never looked like surrendering.

Cardiff remain just a point above the relegation zone as Everton inflicted a second heavy home defeat on the Welsh side in five days with a 3-0 win to boost their confidence ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice either side of half-time before Dominic Calvert-Lewin rounded off a badly needed win for Marco Silva in stoppage time.

Huddersfield remain rock bottom, but did secure their first win under Jan Siewert thanks to Steve Mounie’s 91st-minute winner to beat Wolves 1-0.

Celtic Aren’t Intimated By Big-Spending PSG – Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers

Celtic host Paris St Germain in their opening Champions League group stage match of the season on Tuesday and manager Brendan Rodgers said they wouldn’t be intimidated.

Rodgers’ Celtic won the Scottish Premiership last season without losing a match but fell out of the Champions League at the group stage after coming up against Manchester City and Barcelona.

The former Liverpool boss believes his team has learnt from that experience and are quicker and smarter this time around.

Paris St Germain travels to Glasgow with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe among their ranks as the French team looks to mount a serious Champions League title challenge.

PSG’s coach Unai Emery admitted the European competition was a big objective for the club.

PSG currently sit top of the French Ligue 1 table winning all five of their games so far. Celtic are also top of the Scottish Premiership with four wins and one draw so far.

Sturridge Out For Another 10 Days – Klopp

sturridgeLiverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will remain out of action for at least another 10 days.

Klopp said that he would give the England striker as much time as he needs to recover from the hamstring injury sustained against Newcastle United in December.

Sturridge has played just 108 minutes of football since Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers in October.

He has missed Liverpool’s past 11 matches in all competitions since the 2-0 defeat by the Magpies on December 6.

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim Manager

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim ManagerTwo days after Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho, the Blues have confirmed that Guus Hiddink will take over as manager until the end of the season.

The 69-year-old also managed the Blues on a temporary basis for the final three months of the 2008-2009 campaign.

The Dutchman left his role as Netherlands Manager during their unsuccessful European qualifying campaign.

Chelsea sacked Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.

The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club as the Blues are currently 16th on the EPL table.

Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and also won the League Cup, but have endured a terrible start to their defence, losing nine of their 16 league games so far.

Chelsea Fire Coach Jose Mourinho

MourinhoChelsea have finally sacked manager, Jose Mourinho, seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.

The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club as the Blues are currently 16th on the EPL table.

Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and also won the League Cup, but have endured a terrible start to their defence, losing nine of their 16 league games so far.

The former Porto manager’s final match with the Blues was Monday’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City.

Pep Guardiola, Guus Hiddink, Brendan Rodgers and Juande Ramos have all been touted as possible successors.