Vardy is set for rare Europa League start in Leicester trip to Napoli
Jamie Vardy is set for rare Europa League start in Leicester’s trip to Napoli with 35-year-old ready to spearhead attempt to reach last 32
- Leicester go to Napoli knowing a draw will be good enough for them to progress
- Jamie Vardy is set to start the game with Brendan Rodgers monitoring him
- The 35-year-old has to be carefully managed to get the best out of his body
Jamie Vardy is ready to spearhead Leicester’s bid for a place in the Europa League knockout stages as he is set to start a fixture in the competition for the first time this season.
Leicester travel to Napoli on Thursday knowing a draw will be enough for a place in the last 32, while victory would give them a bye straight to the last 16, as group winners.
Vardy, who turns 35 next month, has been named among the substitutes for all five of Leicester’s previous Europa League games as manager Brendan Rodgers aims to ensure he is fresh for the whole season.
Jamie Vardy is set to lead the line for Leicester in their trip to play Napoli on Thursday
Yet with Leicester determined to extend their stay in this competition, Rodgers is poised to turn to his top scorer, who has found the net nine times this term, while Youri Tielemans is also set to be involved.
After 67 consecutive Premier League games for Leicester, Tielemans has not played since November 7 due to a calf injury but the Belgium midfielder resumed training last week and is likely to travel to Italy.
Even with Vardy and Tielemans back in the side, Rodgers’ priority is to solve the defensive problems that have seen Leicester concede 13 times from set pieces in the league this season, more than any of their rivals.
The Foxes boss admitted these struggles were damaging the confidence of his team and the weakness is certain to be targeted by Napoli, who are having a strong season in Serie A but need a win on Thursday to be certain of progress.
Brendan Rodgers has used the 35-year-old as a substitute in Europa League games so far
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