Leicester City v Sporting Braga: Maddison is a winner, says Rodgers

James Maddison
James Maddison has featured for Leicester six times so far this season scoring one goal in the Europa League against Zorya Luhansk

Brendan Rodgers has praised James Maddison’s winning mentality after his return from injury as they prepare for Thursday’s Europa League Group G match against Sporting Braga.

The Leicester midfielder has returned from hip surgery that forced him to miss the end of last season.

“James is a winner. He wants to be a successful player,” Rodgers said.

Leicester and Braga are level on points, having both won their first two Europa League group stage matches.

Maddison – whose starts this season have been restricted after his recovery from injury – scored on his European debut when the Foxes beat Zorya Luhansk 3-0 and helped them to a 2-1 win at AEK Athens.

“He has that incredible ability to make something happen,” Rodgers said. “He loves his life, his football.

“He is a player who loves the game and when you have a player like that out injured and not able to impact the team it can be difficult.”

The 23-year-old admitted he struggled with not playing, calling it the worst time of his career, but is now fully fit after starting three of the past four games in all competitions.

“The key was managing him and getting him back where he could impact the games,” added Rodgers.

Leicester have enjoyed a recent spell of good form, winning four consecutive games in all competitions and are second in the Premier League.

However, defender Jonny Evans is a major doubt for the Foxes, having missed the past two games after falling awkwardly during their 1-0 win at Arsenal on 25 October.

Wilfred Ndidi and Caglar Soyuncu are also out with groin injuries and Ricardo Pereira is still sidelined because of an Achilles injury.

Braga have won their past six games in all competitions and are third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

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