Brendan Rodgers has a fast chat with BT Sport.
For me, our evaluation is at the end of the season. You always have to stay positive, and so far the players have been brilliant, but we have to make sure we won’t be playing for half a season. We want to move forward and if we get three points tonight it takes another step towards where we want to be.
Leaving Praet and Choudhury completely off the team tonight:
I can only choose 18 players and we have a team of 25, which means that some players lose. You are always looking at your team, you are looking at your bench in order to maintain that intensity in your team. We have a strong team tonight, but we have important games even after tonight.
The big standings tonight (so far) hails from Copa del Rey, where a Barcelona team, including Rakitic, Griezmann, De Jong, Lenglet and the classic lashes Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati, scored a goal in Ibiza, having only had one shot in the first half.
Two changes for Leicester, that Youri Tielemans and Ben Chilwell enter. West Ham makes a change, bringing Arthur Masuaku and dropping Pablo Fornals on the bench.
Tonight’s game will be played by humans with the following names:
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Mendy, Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy. Subtitles: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Ndidi.
West Ham: Randolph, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Masuaku, Lanzini, Haller. Subtitles: Reid, Balbuena, Sanchez, Fornals, Martin, Ajeti, Antonio.
Referee: David Coote.
Poor Leicester. Just a few weeks ago (around December 12, to be precise) they were in second place, six points ahead of Manchester City and a potentially recoverable eight from Liverpool who had played the same number of games, the title challenge far ahead. But then, the wheels came off. Over the past six games they have only won seven points, the relegation dodge form, and suddenly they are 19 points behind Liverpool who played one more game, and six behind City have played one more game (this, to be precise ) Less.
A home game with the seventeenth best team in the division might seem like an excellent opportunity to resume normal service, but this would ignore the disappointing results against Aston Villa, Burnley and Southampton in the past two weeks, the fact that from the start -mid West West Ham has exactly as many points as it has and its recent two point record in the last four home games. As for West Ham, the home defeat against Leicester last month was the death sentence for Manuel Pellegrini, who got the boot that evening. Since then, the hammers have beaten Bournemouth. However, it is the first days for David Moyes.
The Scotsman insists he has spotted an improvement in his players. “It depends on the attitudes of the players and their attitudes have been so good,” he says. “I saw it in their statistics.” Which is positive, because he certainly didn’t see it in the team’s results.
Last night there were all sorts of madness going on: ridiculous stoppages in the stoppage time, ridiculous winners in the stoppage time, teams that had completely forgotten how to win remembering how to win, teams that only had two hits of any description in all play and score with both – and with a little luck there will be more tonight. I cross my fingers, huh?