Brendan Rodgers discusses the new season, injuries and signings ahead of Premier League opener
 Leicester manager Brendan Rogers looks on during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on August 07, 2021, in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

The Premier League returns this weekend and Leicester City will play a competitive game at the King Power Stadium for the first time since March 2020 on Saturday as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Foxes enjoyed a successful campaign last season, coming fifth for the second year running and winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

They then ended their pre-season with further silverware, winning the Community Shieldthanks to a late Kelechi Iheanacho penalty against Manchester City.

A full pre-season in the new training ground and plenty of quality additions to the squad mean that Leicester will be looking to continue their rise in the Premier League and aim for a top-four spot.

Manager Brendan Rodgers spoke to the media about the upcoming season, signings and his squad ahead of the opening game of the season against Wolves.

On recent cup wins

Leicester are heading into the new season with their confidence sky-high. Rodgers’ side have added two pieces of silverware to their cabinet in the last four months and the Northern Irishman believes the success of their trips to Wembley will have a positive impact on the start of the campaign.

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“We have a memory of the FA Cup and an achievement that is going to bind us together for the rest of our lives, for the players, staff and supporters, it was an amazing day,” Rodgers said.  

“But you have to keep looking forward, and get ready for a really exciting future. The idea is to get better every single day. I see the players’ confidence.

“We arrive into the season in a really good place… it leaves us in a nice position and sets us up perfectly for the weekend.”

On injuries

Last season, the Foxes were plagued with injuries, with three to four key players out at the same time throughout the majority of their games.

This had a major impact and if the players had been fit then Leicester may have gone on to secure a top-four finish and not slipped down into fifth on the final day.

Rodgers will be keen to keep his squad fit this time around but to begin the season he will be missing a few big names once again.

Wesley Fofana suffered a fractured fibula against Villarreal in pre-season and will be absent until 2022. As well as missing the Frenchman, defender Timothy Castagne suffered a gruesome head injury during Euro 2020 and could miss out.

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Rodgers revealed: “We’re just going to make a final decision on Timothy tomorrow. He’s trained well. This week he’s joined in with his mask, and he feels comfortable. He’s done everything we would want for him to participate in the game.”

Jonny Evans was in and out of the Foxes squad towards the end of last season as he managed a foot injury. He is definitely ruled out of the opening game and Rodgers gave an indication of when he may return.

He said: “Jonny was out on the pitch today. The plan for him is for after the international break. We’re just assessing the pain of that.”

On new signings

So far this summer Leicester have signed Ryan Bertrand on a free from Southampton, striker Patson Daka from RB Salzburg and Ligue 1 title-winning midfielder Boubakary Soumarefrom Lille.

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After all new signings were given minutes during pre-season, Rodgers may include them from the start. However, he aims to allow time for them to adapt to the style of the team before making a full judgment on their performances.

“I always allow that first season for the adaption,” Rodgers explained. “Some will adapt very quickly to the football and life in general. You get some who adapt straight away.

“We’re pleased with the three we’ve brought in. Ryan with his experience and quality will be huge for us, and he will be important for Luke Thomas. Patson and Bouba have power and technique. I’m excited to see what they can do.”

On Jannik Vestergaard

Leicester’s business isn’t done this summer and Rodgers all but confirmed that 6’6’’ centre-back Jannik Vestergaard would be joining the club. The Danish defender is expected to sign from Southampton with the deal being tied up quickly to help bring in cover for the injured Fofana.

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“Without going into too much detail while it’s not done, we were very light in the area,” Rodgers revealed. “It’s a great tribute to the club that we have acted quickly to get in a quality player. Once it’s done, I can speak more on it.

“There’s been contact between the clubs, and we’re just waiting on it to be completed so we can confirm.”

On opponents Wolves

Wolves travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester and new manager Bruno Lage will be hoping to kickstart his time in England with a victory.

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Three of the last four games between the two teams have ended 0-0, with the other ending 1-0 to Leicester last season thanks to a Jamie Vardy penalty.

These games have become consistently close in the last couple of years and Rodgers knows that Saturday’s match may well continue to follow that theme.

He said: “They have a new manager, who will help them develop. All of our games against Wolves have been tough since I arrived here, and I expect this one to be tight as well.”

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