Monday, June 5, 2023

Leicester City Defender Is In Contention To Return In Midweek: Massive Boost For The Foxes?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview (via Leicester Mercury), Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers revealed that Jonny Evans is in contention to return in midweek when the Midlands giants clash heads with SC Braga as he said, “We’ll see how Jonny is.

“He hopefully might be okay for Thursday (against Braga), but we’ll see over the next 48 hours.”

Evans’ Growing Reputation At The King Power Stadium

The Belfast-born centre-half missed out on the Foxes’ emphatic 4-1 win over Leeds United on Monday night because of a back injury. Hence, this latest development will be a welcome bit of news for anyone associated with the East Midlands club as Evans has become one of their most influential leaders on the field.

The 32-year-old has featured in five matches for the English side this term and is averaging 1.8 tackles, 2.0 interceptions and 2.8 clearances per game in the Premier League so far. He has also taken care of the ball when distributing possession out from the back as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 86.2% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Brendan Rodgers’ men have got the third-best defensive record in the English division after allowing only nine goals in seven league games so far which proves how well Evans has performed for them in recent weeks. The ex-Manchester United defensive ace also deserves a lot of credit for showing grit in the face of adversity following the loss of Caglar Soyuncu to injury back in October.

Leiciester City's Evans is in contention to return in midweek (Evans is seen in the picture)
Johnny Evans of Leicester City looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020, in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

What Does The Experienced Northern Ireland International Add To Rodgers’ Side?

Evans has excellent defensive awareness and can pull off some important interceptions for his side. He can also position himself ideally to make a clearance when his teammates are under pressure from the opposition at the back.

Even though the 84-time Northern Ireland international has lost a yard of pace from his game, he has got the experience to maintain a solid shape in defence. He can even get the best out of his players around him through his organisation and discipline on the defensive third of the pitch.

Evans Set To Comeback From Injury In Midweek: Big Boost For The Foxes?

Evans’ timely return from his back problem will be a welcome boost for the East Midlands outfit heading into their highly anticipated clash versus Braga on Thursday night. Both sides are currently level on points at the top of Europa League Group G table which highlight just how important this upcoming showdown could be for them ahead of the international break.

Plus, Leicester have got an inviting league fixture coming up against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend. Therefore, Rodgers will prioritise on playing Evans in both these games as he possesses the skillset to help Leicester win and continue with their bright start to this campaign.

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