Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers' Pre-Crystal Palace Fitness Update: Fofana & Ricardo

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has discussed the fitness of his squad ahead of Monday's King Power Stadium clash with Crystal Palace.
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- Brendan Rodgers provides an update on his the fitness of his Leicester City squad
- Wesley Fofana is currently fasting during Ramadan alongside playing for the Foxes
- Fofana is not eating or drinking during daylight hours as part of the holy month
- Ricardo Pereira is also being 'managed' in order to prevent any further injury concerns

The Eagles visit the East Midlands for an 8pm BST kick-off on Monday four days after City's dominant 3-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion, which kept them third in the Premier League.

Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans and Kelechi Iheanacho netted the goals in 13 first-half minutes to secure an 18th top-flight victory of the season.

Young centre-back Wesley Fofana was substituted in the 61st minute during that success over the Baggies and Rodgers spoke afterwards about the France Under-21s international's adherence to fasting as he marks the holy month of Ramadan. 

During Ramadan, which runs until 12 May in the United Kingdom this year, Muslims abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.

I work with lots of players who have similar devotion to their faith, and I think, for a lot of the guys, it gives them strength. He’s found incredible strength to play continuously and to train while in Ramadan. He’s a special talent and a big player for us.

Brendan Rodgers

"He’s a young player in the middle of Ramadan so he’s obviously not eating during the day," Rodgers said. "I think it’s absolutely remarkable. If you think of his performance at the weekend in an FA Cup Semi-Final, when he hasn’t eaten all day, and then he had his first taste of food [later on].

"It was the same today, with the 8pm kick-off, he’s not eaten or drank, and he can still perform to that level. It was just one where I thought I could get him off and he could get some food into him on the bench and just protect him a little bit.

"I work with lots of players who have similar devotion to their faith, and I think, for a lot of the guys, it gives them strength.

"He’s found incredible strength to play continuously and to train while in Ramadan. He’s a special talent and a big player for us."

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0

All three goals from the Foxes' commanding victory over West Brom at King Power Stadium.

Ricardo Pereira, meanwhile, did not feature for the Foxes on Monday after picking up a minor knock at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Although now back from an ACL injury sustained last spring, Rodgers says it is important for the Club to carefully oversee the Portugal full-back's game time.

"I’ve got to manage Ricardo," he added. "He can’t play [too many] games at this stage when he’s just back from a long-term injury.

"We’ve seen it before. He’s going to pick up other knocks along the way having been out for so long, so it’s great he’s back for this season. He’s going to be available for some of the games.

[Luke Thomas has] been outstanding since he played this time last year. Every time he’s played, he’s been very, very good. He’s got great temperament for a young guy.

Brendan Rodgers

"If he doesn’t play, I know I’ve got the players to come in who can perform very, very well."

Academy graduate Luke Thomas came into the XI on Monday, with Timothy Castagne on the other side of defence, and Rodgers was once again impressed by the England youth international's performance against Sam Allardyce's West Brom side.

"It’s just balance," the 48-year-old added, elaborating on his decision to start Thomas. "Firstly, he’s left-sided, he’s always played really well for me. He’s been outstanding since he played this time last year. Every time he’s played, he’s been very, very good. He’s got great temperament for a young guy.

"He’s strong and aggressive and been excellent."

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