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Leicester midfielder James Maddison fit for Southampton clash

The 22-year-old has been battling injury and illness this month but played 73 minutes against Burnley on Saturday.

James Maddison will be fit when Leicester travel to Southampton on Friday night (Richard Sellers/PA)
James Maddison will be fit when Leicester travel to Southampton on Friday night (Richard Sellers/PA)

By Sean Taylor, PA

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that midfielder James Maddison will be fit to face Southampton.

After suffering an ankle injury prior to the international break and then missing a call-up to the England squad due to illness, Maddison had missed a couple of weeks of training before starting against Burnley at the weekend.

The 22-year-old was substituted midway through the second half of the 2-1 home win but he has experienced no ill-effects and will be fit and ready to go again at St Mary’s on Friday night.

Rodgers said: “He has been fine. He has been training up until now. It was a case where he didn’t do much in the couple of weeks after the Tottenham game and leading into the Liverpool game he hadn’t done a great deal.

“He lasted the game on Saturday very well. Of course, he wasn’t right up to the match fitness, but he got a good period in the game in. He came off and he will be fit and ready for Friday.”

With links of a move to Manchester United refusing to go away, there have been reports this week that Leicester could get Maddison to sign a new deal at the club – increasing his value.

When that was put to Rodgers in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon, he said: “There’s nothing to add to that. The club hasn’t indicated anything, but we very much want to keep him here.

“There’s a lot of development for him still to do, and this is a great place for him to be, for him to flourish.

“If there is anything to do with a new contract then that will be between James’ representatives and the club, my job is to coach the players.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers paid tribute to the club’s fans for marking the anniversary of the death of former chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Khun Vichai was one of five people killed in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium last October, and Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

Thousands of Foxes supporters walked through the city to the ground in his honour before Saturday’s home win against Burnley.

“It was a great day off the field, of course, the supporters were amazing,” said Rodgers. “There was obviously a march beforehand and that spirit came into the stadium. From everyone, it was very touching in how they continued to support Khun Vichai.

“Everyone at the club was proud of the day, how it went and there will be more celebration of his life later this week.”

On Sunday, following a private ceremony, the club will open the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden on the site of the crash.

PA

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