• Dan Tracey


While although Leicester advanced to the 6th Round of the F.A. Cup in midweek, it is a win that has come at a rather hefty price and if you were to ask manager Brendan Rodgers whether it’s a price worth paying, the Ulsterman would perhaps say it’s not.

Because even though the Foxes are through to the last eight of England’s premier cup competition, they are now without the services of defender James Justin and with the former Luton player having ruptured his ACL, his absence could be a rather prolonged one.

Which is just what Brendan Rodgers could do without and with the 2016 Premier League winners stuttering in terms of recent form, this latest injury news has the potential to derail their season further.

They have recently suffered a key absence at the other end of the pitch and with Jamie Vardy on the treatment table, it is fair to say that Leicester are a different beast. A beast, where dropped points have become the norm.

The decision to offer Vardy surgery may turn out to be a shrewd one, as in theory the 34-year-old will be fit and healthy for the most important games of the season. However, the fact that Leicester only won once in his absence, will be of obvious concern to the manager and his coaching staff.

While even though the former England forward came off the bench against Wolves last weekend, his cameo was not one that had enough influence and the two Midlands outfits had to make do with a share of the points at Molineux.

Such has been Leicester’s mini slump recently, that it is also becoming a point of concern for their supporters and you only need to look at their collapse last season, to see just how things wrong can go.

Before the world was gripped by the force of a global pandemic, Leicester were a near shoe-in for the top four. However, there’s nothing like a cessation in activity, to act as the catalyst for a severe downturn in form.

A downturn, that saw the club finish outside the Champions League places, as Chelsea and Manchester United found their feet when it really mattered and left the King Power outfit, as the outsiders looking in.

Which is why the news of Justin’s injury, could not have come at a worse time and it is not domestic dominance that could be curtailed, there is also their European exploits that return to the fore next week.

As Leicester prepare to face Slavia Praha, this will put a dent in those preparations and now it is going to be a case of the fellow squad members digging in, to make sure their Europa League run does not end before March.

If you were to ask Brendan Rodgers, if he would rather have F.A. Cup progress or a fit James Justin, the answer would likely be the latter. However, he has been dealt the former and the next few weeks will be another test of his managerial acumen.

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