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Brendan Rodgers update on player availability is ominous for Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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Brendan Rodgers has given his update ahead of the trip to St James Park.

Leicester City making the journey still in second place after such an impressive start to the season despite being schooled by the all dominant Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Two days after that defeat at home to the champions-elect, Brendan Rodgers made the very brave decision to play an all but complete second choice team.

If it had gone wrong, the Leicester boss would have come in for plenty stick.

However, his bold move has paid off inn multiple ways.

Peter Schmeichel stayed in goal but Jonny Evans was the only outfield player who remained from that Liverpool defeat, Ayoze Perez amongst the nine who came into the team.

It was Kelechi Iheanacho and Demarai Gray who got the goals that beat West Ham 2-1 away, they were joined by Wes Morgan, James Justin, Christian Fuchs, Papy Mendy, Hamza Choudhury and Marc Albrighton in that starting eleven on Saturday.

As well as the victory, it means that Brendan Rodgers now has a fully rested first team who can come back for the Newcastle match.

This compares to Steve Bruce who has played most of the same players for three matches in a week.

The bad news for Newcastle is that Brendan Richards says that Ricardo Pereira had a hamstring complaint after Liverpool but is now expected to be fine for Newcastle. The excellent right sided defender scored a brilliant solo goal to kick of that 5-0 hammering in September.

As for Jamie Vardy, who scored the second and fourth goals in that five goal hammering, it is also good news for Rodgers and bad news for Newcastle.

He (Vardy) was left in Leicester as his wife was having a baby daughter at the weekend and he is also now back having fully rested (in a football sense anyway).

A tough challenge appears to lie ahead for Newcastle United and to try and cope with the visitors, it may well be a case of Steve Bruce ensuring  he has his fittest players all on the pitch, not necessarily the ones with most ability.

Brendan Rodgers:

“He (Ricardo Pereira) should be fine for Newcastle.

“He just felt it a bit tight, so I didn’t take him to West Ham. I gave him a rest, but he’ll be back in and fine for Wednesday.

“He (Jamie Vardy) had the good news on Saturday and, to be fair to him, he delayed this as long as he possibly could! But his wife went into hospital on Friday and gave birth on Saturday morning.

“It’s brilliant for both of them.

“He wouldn’t have played on Saturday anyway, he’d have been on the bench, but we let him stay at home to look after his wife and kids and he’ll be back for Newcastle.

“For us to succeed, it’s about the squad.

“All the players, like James Maddison, Youri [Tielemans] and Çağs (Çağlar Söyüncü), they were all so happy for the players that came in.

“The team has been pretty much set for most of the season, we’ve changed it from time to time, but it’s not so much the players that are playing, it’s the players that aren’t playing.

“That allows development and improvement because they have to push every day, so whatever team we play, I trust in the players and how they’re developing.

“It’s great for them that they can come into a good game in the Premier League, away from home, and get that feeling of winning.”

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