Brendan Rodgers says it is “ridiculous” that Leicester City have to play Manchester City and Liverpool in 48 hours as he battles an ever deepening injury crisis.
Ryan Bertrand is the latest Leicester player to become unavailable after he was injured during the warm-up before Sunday’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City, with Rodgers having to remove him from the substitutes’ list. The Leicester manager had been forced to name Jamie Vardy and Wilfred Ndidi on the bench despite the forward’s tight hamstring and midfielder’s accumulation of minutes.
Rodgers was already without four of his first-choice defence – Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira and James Justin – after recent injuries, plus forwards Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka.
After the loss at the Etihad Stadium against the leaders, Rodgers must gather his depleted resources for the home game against second-placed Liverpool. “It’s a ridiculous schedule,” said Rodgers. “We all know that players aren’t fully recovered for 72 hours after a game, so for us to be playing on a Tuesday against Liverpool it is ridiculous. Egter, 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.”
Rodgers also pointed to how Liverpool will not have played for seven days – since knocking Leicester out of the Carabao Cup last Wednesday – because their game against Leeds was called off, while City had a clear week before facing them.
Hy het gesê: “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. That’s what we have to deal with. It’s a huge challenge for us but it’s a challenge we’re up for. We keep fighting and we keep working.
“We’ll train a little bit later [federale verkiesing uitgeroep], 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.”
Vardy and Ndidi may be able to start at Anfield. “Wilf has played a lot of football for us so he hasn’t had a chance to rest,” said Rodgers. “To put him into [die Stad] game would have been really tough. Hopefully they’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.”