LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Leicester City's manager Brendan Rodgers during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Key player misses Liverpool trip as Brendan Rodgers urges Leicester “belief”

Brendan Rodgers believes Leicester’s clash with Liverpool provides a “great opportunity” for his team to bounce back from their Boxing Day defeat to Newcastle.

Prior to the winter break, Leicester had been on a decent run of form with four wins from five games, but they lost 3-0 to the Magpies, with all three goals coming in the opening 32 minutes of the match.

The result sees the Foxes sit just below halfway in the Premier League table and Rodgers is hopeful his side can show their belief ahead of the trip to Anfield.

“I think the first 20 minutes of a game at Anfield are always very important,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“With the crowd and intensity of which a Liverpool team will want to play, that’s important, that resilience and mentality.

“You need that ability if you do go behind to have that belief. I think in any game of football there’s two games – the game itself and before that the game of belief.

“You always believe when you step onto the field, especially against some of the big teams away from home, you need to have that belief and mentality that you can get a result.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Leicester City's James Maddison celebrates after scoring his side's second penalty of the shoot-out during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“For us, we’ve got a great opportunity going to a great stadium to play football in and look to see if we can replicate that belief and spirit last time we played.

“It’s always a difficult game and nobody knows that more than myself at Anfield – but it’s a great challenge for us.

“[Newcastle] was disappointing, like I say, but challenges are there to be overcome and there’s a great opportunity for us to get out there in a fantastic game.”

Rodgers confirmed in his press conference that James Maddison and Dennis Praet would be absent for the Liverpool game.

Maddison was due to see a specialist in London about his knee, while Praet was still struggling with a side injury that saw him substituted against Newcastle.