Brendan Rodgers

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Leicester: Players showing coronavirus symptoms

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Leicester City have confirmed that three unnamed players are in self-isolation after showing symptoms of coronavirus.

These players are the first in the Premier League to have been mentioned as showing symptoms of COVID-19 but it has been reported they are showing symptoms and are yet to be tested.

Manager Brendan Rodgers spoke to the media ahead of Leicester’s game at Watford on Saturday.

“We’ve had few players that have shown symptoms and signs (of coronavirus). We’ve followed procedures and (as a precaution) they have been kept away from the squad,” Rodgers said.

Leicester are expected to play on Saturday, as things stand, as all Premier League game this weekend are yet to be postponed and no plans have been made to play the games behind closed doors.

Rodgers admitted it would not be ideal to play games in empty stadiums but is ready to accept whatever new restrictions are in place.

“From a football perspective it would be a shame but the public’s health is the most important aspect in all of this. We are guided by organizations and governments,” Rodgers added.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Rodgers hints at interest in ‘fantastic’ free agent-to-be Lallana

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Brendan Rodgers has begun his recruitment of Adam Lallana in the most thinly veiled of ways, calling the Liverpool midfielder “a fantastic player” and saying “he will be weighing up his options” ahead of the expiration of his contract this summer.

[ MORE: Report: Chelsea closing in on Hakim Ziyech deal ]

Simply put, if Rodgers gets his way, Lallana will be wearing the blue and white of Leicester City next season — quotes from Sky Sports:

“Adam is a fantastic player and one I brought into Liverpool. I have been aware of his talents since he was a young player at Southampton.

“He has done brilliantly [at Liverpool] and I’m sure he will be weighing up his options. But, I don’t need to speak about that now. We’ve spoken about that all through January. I don’t need to speak about the summer transfer window.

“I would only add he is a top-class player.”

[ MORE: The race for Premier League promotion is red-hot ]

Leicester won’t be the only Premier League side to come calling if/when Lallana’s contract expires without a new deal in place, but the shared history which Rodgers points out could prove a tiebreaker over any other club offering a similar financial package. Lallana has been at Anfield since the summer of 2014, when Rodgers was the Reds’ boss.

Vardy injury ‘not as serious as first thought,’ says Rodgers

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Everyone at Leicester City is breathing a huge sigh of relief after receiving the timetable for the injury suffered by star striker Jamie Vardy on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Report: Man United’s list of possible new strikers revealed ]

Manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed after the game that it wasn’t a hamstring injury, as originally feared, but rather a “twinge in his glute.” That was the first bit of “good news,” according to Rodgers.

Now comes the really good stuff for the Foxes: Vardy will be unavailable for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with EFL Championship side Brentford, but he could return to action for the second leg of the EFL Cup semifinals against Aston Villa on Tuesday — quotes from Sky Sports:

“He’s not available for the weekend and there will be a question mark for Tuesday, although it’s certainly not as serious as we first thought.

“It’s not his hamstring, it’s a glute, so we’re hopeful for Tuesday, but there’s a little bit of work to do. He’ll get some work in with the medical team. He’ll stay with them for the weekend.

“He’s much better than directly after the game, when he was tight and sore and struggling to move. But today he was much better.”

Throw in the fact that Leicester currently sit third in the Premier League and Champions League qualification is looking highly likely for next season (they hold a 14-point lead on fifth-place Manchester United with 14 games left to play), and they have truly dodged a bullet on this one.

Leicester City’s Rodgers: ‘Good news’ on Vardy injury

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Brendan Rodgers says there’s good news when it comes to the injury suffered by Jamie Vardy in Leicester City’s 4-1 blowout of West Ham United on Wednesday.

Vardy hurt his glute in the win, temporarily returning to the match after treatment from the trainer but ultimately subbing off before halftime.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

“It wasn’t his hamstring, so that’s good news for us,” Rodgers said, via The Leicester Mercury.

“He just felt a twinge in his glute, so we just have to wait and see on that in the next day or so. Thankfully his hamstring is okay and he just felt some pain in his glute, so we will have to assess that over the next few days.”

Vardy has a Premier League-best 17 goals, one more than Man City’s Sergio Aguero.

He was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho, who assisted one of Ayoze Perez’s two goals on the day. Perez’s seven goals are second on Leicester, while James Maddison‘s six are third.

Iheanacho has six goals and three assists in 485 minutes and there’s reason to believe he can feast off Leicester’s playmaking if Vardy needs a match or two to heal.

Whether he can fill Vardy’s shoes in the long-term is a big question, especially as Leicester aims to return for the Champions League.

PL Sunday Preview: Leicester travel to Burnley; Liverpool put perfect record on the line against Man Utd

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With eight Premier League fixtures on Saturday, two more remain in Matchweek 23.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley v. Leicester City  — 9 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Burnley are free falling and there doesn’t seem to be a safety net in sight.

The Clarets, who are two points removed from the relegation zone, head into a tough three-match window without striker Ashley Barnes. Recuperating from a hernia surgery, the 30-year-old is set to miss bouts against Leicester, Manchester United and Arsenal – to name some.

But quite possibly more alarming than that is the team’s recent form. Losing seven out of their last nine, just two points divide Burnley from the drop zone. Sean Dyche‘s team are clueless in the box, scoring one goal in four league bouts. Trouble looms over Turf Moor.

But even then, Dyche, who has made Burnley a force to be reckoned with in the past, believes his side are still a threat.

“They are a good side,” Dyche said about Leicester. “We are on a tough run of form, but I don’t think they are naive enough to think it is turn up and get the business done. We are not a million miles away.”

Can Burnley pull a Southampton and stun a top-four bound Leicester?

“We weren’t at our best [against Southampton] and we didn’t have the energy and intensity that we would have liked,” Brendan Rodgers said ahead of Sunday’s early match.

“We work twice as hard and that’s what we’ve done after every setback. We still have a lot to improve on.”

The Foxes had a rare full week to train, so one can bet that Rodgers is serious about his word.

INJURIES: Burnley —  OUT: Barnes (hernia), Gudmundsson (hamstring) | Leicester City — OUT: Ndidi (knee), Amartey (ankle), James (match fitness)

Liverpool v. Manchester United — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Manchester United are a part of the exclusive anti-Liverpool club for more than the obvious reason.

Yes, the North West Derby is one of the league’s most heated rivalries, with countless flashbacks in its 203 meetings during its over 100 years of history.

But these two, star-studded squads led by Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, respectively, also have a permeating rivalry of their own. The Reds, who have yet to taste defeat this season, have dropped points to only United.

It can be argued that Sunday’s bout may be Liverpool’s most complicated and least favorable, despite maintaining an immaculate record at home. This is the “big one” that many didn’t particularly circle on the calendar.

“It’s a very, very important football game,” Klopp said. “Very important. We have to learn how to deal with games like this in the right manner. We haven’t done bad in the past but we can still improve.

“Old Trafford [a 1-1 draw in October] was a good example, [we were] not at our best because of their quality. We have to make it more likely we’re at our best.”

Solskjaer had his tactics in place last time around; a small injection of final quality and the team would have crushed Liverpool’s aspirations of matching the Iinvincibles or Manchester City’s points record.

“The last two performances [against Liverpool] at Old Trafford we have drawn twice and been close to winning both games, so we’ve got some games to look back at and that will give us loads of belief… if we perform to our best we have a chance to win,” Solskjaer said.

Sunday presents itself as the final chance for United to pull the upset, and reaffirm why they’re a part of the exclusive club to begin with. But Liverpool are slowing becoming invincible themselves.

INJURIES: Liverpool —  OUT: Lovren (hamstring), Clyne (knee), Keïta (groin), Milner (hamstring) | Manchester United  — OUT: Tuanzebe (hamstring), McTominay (knee), Pogba (ankle)