The five key quotes from Brendan
Rodgers’ pre-AEK Athens press conference
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is interviewed from a distance during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Leicester City and Zorya Luhansk at The King Power Stadium. (Simon Stacpoole/Getty)

Leicester City face AEK Athens in their second game of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage as they aim to begin their European campaign with back to back wins.

Leicester looked comfortable in their opening fixture against Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk, with goals from James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Kelechi Iheanacho helping to secure a 3-0 win.

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The Foxes will be hoping they can repeat this result in Greece on Thursday evening. Manager Brendan Rodgers spoke to the media ahead of the game.

On what to expect from AEK Athens

Leicester were slow out of the blocks against Zorya Luhansk last time out but managed to take control of the game and win comfortably. Rodgers will be hoping his side can start better, however he isn’t expecting an easy ride.

“Luhansk played 4-4-2 diamond and they were aggressive in their game,” he said. “AEK play a 4-3-3 or a 5-3-2 too. You expect a big test here. Whichever system they play, it will be a big test for us.”

On the possibility of resting players

This game will be Leicester’s third in seven days and squad rotation may be needed to help cope with the fatigue caused by the busy schedule. The Foxes also have a growing injury list which has left many key players missing.

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However, Rodgers revealed that he’s not planning to rotate and that all fit players are in contention. He said: "We see it as a very important competition. We have a number of injuries anyway but all the players who are fit and available have travelled."

On trying to maintain consistency in the team

Despite ruling out mass rotation, the Leicester boss explained how tough it is to keep all of his players fit enough to complete the full 90  minutes in both the Premier League and in Europe.

"There's no way we can think 11 players will get through every game,” Rodgers said. “We pick an 11 we believe can get the result in order to have freshness and consistency, but there are specific positions that will require change."

On what he believes is his best eleven

Rodgers has been forced to rely on fringe players and new signings to step up with injuries forcing out key players, but he is happy with how they have performed. The high quality of the entirety of the Foxes squad has given the Northern Irishman confidence in all of his players.

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"When you have one game a week it’s a lot easier picking teams. But when you're into Europe your best 11 is the 11 you pick for a game,” he said. "I've been delighted with the guys who have performed.

“What we’re finding in this period is the guys who haven’t played as much, like James Justin and Papy Mendy, you can see their importance. You pick a best 11 for the game and I trust the squad no matter how old or young."

On Jamie Vardy’s fitness

Jamie Vardy was forced to start on the bench at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but he went on to feature for 30 minutes and score the winning goal as Leicester beat Arsenal for the first time in 47 years.

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Rodgers hinted that the striker may return to the starting line-up on Thursday and revealed that it was always planned for him to be rested at the weekend.

He said: "He’s available. The plan was always to play him for 30 minutes. You can see how the dynamic changes when he's on field. He's a world class striker."

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