Brendan Rodgers insists Leicester will not take Braga lightly

By PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Leicester will not underestimate Braga as they look to qualify for the next stage of the Europa League, manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted.

The Foxes are top of Group G with three wins from as many matches after a comprehensive victory over the Portuguese side a fortnight ago.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s double, Dennis Praet and James Maddison helped them to a 4-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

Another three points in Portugal on Thursday night will ensure that Leicester, debutants in the Europa League this season, advance to the next stage.

“I’ve been very pleased. The group has good teams in it. Our objective starting out was to make sure we qualified,” said Rodgers at his pre-match press conference.

“We want to continue that and qualify as early as we can, that would be great for us.

“You know when you play against other teams in this competition, they will be at a high level because they are used to winning.

“Our away form has been very good, but we won’t underestimate Braga, despite the result at home. We have to be ready for a tough game.”

Leicester’s progression in the competition could coincide with an injury boost for Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira.

Midfielder Ndidi will miss out against Braga but he could be available for selection when the Foxes take on Zorya Luhansk next week.

The Nigeria international has been on the sidelines since he suffered a groin injury against Burnley in September.

“Ndidi is progressing well and we’ll see where he is for the game in Ukraine,” said Rodgers.

Portugal international right-back Ricardo has been absent since March but continued his recovery from a serious knee injury by playing 59 minutes for the development squad this week.

“Hopefully (he’ll be back) very soon. He played his first competitive football for the second team on Monday, which was really, really good,” the Foxes boss added.

“So over these next two to three weeks he can build up his match fitness and then hopefully very soon play in the first team.

“But we’re so happy that he’s come back very strong, it will be great to have him coming back into the team and we’re very excited for that.”

Long-term absentees Timothy Castagne (hamstring) and Caglar Soyuncu (adductor) remain on the sidelines.