London (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers has backed Leicester to qualify for the Champions League despite a late-season wobble in the Premier League.
The Foxes travel to Arsenal on Tuesday as they battle to return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2016/17.
Leicester are third in the Premier League table after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace ended their four-match winless streak in all competitions since the coronavirus hiatus.
Rodgers believes his team can finish in the top four again despite a tight race, with fifth-placed Manchester United just three points behind them.
“There’s no doubt, we have shown over 33 games our talent. OK, we’re maybe missing some players but as a squad we’re very focused on achieving it and we’ll fight to the final whistle,” Rodgers said.
“What the players have done has been remarkable. I’m pretty clear on that and getting the perspective of it all.
“If you think of the two teams in front of us (Liverpool and Manchester City), two of the greatest teams the Premier League has produced, for us to be second in the league from a defensive perspective and third-highest goalscorers means the players have been brilliant.
“The league is so competitive, not just the so-called top clubs, for us to be amongst it shows the level of performance.”
Arsenal boosted their slim chances of reaching the Champions League with an impressive 2-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.
The Gunners have won their past three league games without conceding to sit seventh, nine points behind the Foxes.
Rodgers has been impressed by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta since he replaced the sacked Unai Emery in December.
“Mikel has done very well, he has gone into a club with huge expectation which he knows. He has gone in on his first job and how he has dealt with it has been outstanding,” Rodgers said.
“You can see the style and it’s not an easy style to implement, especially at a club wanting to challenge straight away.”