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Leicester City: James Maddison expected to return to first-team squad for Burnley clash

Leicester City: James Maddison expected to return to first-team squad for Burnley clash

James Maddison is set to return to the first team for Leicester City after illness ruled him out of international duty.

Leicester’s manager Brendan Rodgers revealed during an interview that he is “fine” and expects him to be back in the side this weekend.

The 22-year-old has missed just the one league game this season and has been an undeniably big part of Leicester’s early success in this campaign, with two goals and two assists so far.

Rodgers was not ambiguous as to whether he will be okay to play, and praised the midfielder, saying he was “comfortable”.

Speaking to the club website, Rodgers said: “He’s fine.

“He obviously had a knock leading into the Liverpool game and then he was ill while he was away with England.

“He came back, trained a few days, and he’s fine. He’s trained well today.

“Yesterday, he was getting back out and I expect him to be fit and ready. He was really comfortable, and I expect him to be fine.”

Given James Maddison’s importance to Leicester this season, Rodgers will be delighted to have him available for this game.

According to WhoScored, Maddison has been one of Leicester’s best players this season. His average rating is a huge 7.42/10 – which is only bettered at the club by Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira.

In his seven league games, he has won more Man of the Match awards than anyone else in his team with two. He has also scored twice, assisted twice and averages the most shots per game with 3.

It’s been a controversial few weeks for Maddison, who has been criticised for pulling out of the England squad through illness, only to be pictured in the casino on the night of the England match. Ian Holloway, for example, was one of the pundits who slated the player, calling him “unbelievably naive” and “unprofessional” on talkSPORT (via Leicestershire Live).

However, Rodgers gave Maddison his backing, saying that he knows he made an error and dismissing any criticism of Maddison’s character (BBC).

Rodgers has said all of the right things this week as Maddison looks set to return to football this weekend.

With the player under the cosh from the press, he has stood up for his young midfielder, which should give him the world of confidence and urge him to repay his faith in the manager.

With Burnley a tough side to break down – they have only conceded nine goals in eight games – Maddison’s creativity may be crucial for Leicester. As the top assistor (2) in the side and the player who makes the most amount of crosses (1.9) and key passes (1.6) per game for Leicester (WhoScored), he has the capabilities to cause a very capable Burnley defence problems.

Leicester City fans, how much of a boost is it to have Maddison available? Let us know below!

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