Brendan Rodgers has slammed the “nonsense” Premier League fixture schedule that will force him to rest star striker Jamie Vardy during the festive period.
Leicester beat Everton in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and continue a gruelling run of games with Saturday’s trip to Manchester City.
The Foxes then face Premier League leaders Liverpool on Boxing Day and have just one day of rest before an away match against West Ham.
Vardy has started all 17 of Leicester’s league fixtures this season, scoring 16 goals, but Rodgers said the 32-year-old could not play every game.
“There is no chance,” the Leicester manager told reporters. “You cannot risk the fitness of a player. You play on the 26th, you’re going to play a high-intensity game here against Liverpool, fighting for the result.
“In football, it’s the second day where the players suffer. You get that first day of recovery but it’s the second day where it’s really tough for a player. If we go along that route then the second day, instead of recovering, we’re kicking off at 17:30 [local time] at West Ham.
“It’s just nonsense, really.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 21, 2019
“Some [clubs] will be a bit more fortunate with recovery than others. It helps when you have a big deep squad. You want to get through it without the risk of injury and looking to perform at the highest level you can.”
Rodgers blamed administrators for losing sight of their duty of care to footballers.
“The game is about money now, you can’t say it’s about the welfare of players,” he said.
Second-placed Leicester sit 10 points adrift of Liverpool ahead of the Etihad Stadium encounter with City, who are a further four points back in third.
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