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Champions League: Leicester's injury nightmare leaves race wide open

Leicester City moved back up to fourth in the Premier League on Thursday, but their European dreams have been hit by a bad run of luck.

Leicester City's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers (C) looks on from the sidelines during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on July 16, 2020.

Leicester City picked up a vital win in their race for the top four on Thursday evening with a hard-fought victory over Sheffield United. With just two games remaining the Foxes are clinging onto the final Champions League place but are in the midst of an injury crisis with a number of first-team players out for the rest of the season.

Leicester boss Rodgers outlines Foxes' injury problems

Speaking after the game, manager Brendan Rodgers revealed the extent of his side’s concerns. "James [Maddison] and Ben [Chilwell] won't play for the rest of the season, and Marc [Albrighton] is doubtful for the weekend but may be available for Manchester United," he said, adding: "Christian [Fuchs] won't be involved now for the rest of the season. He could be actually 12-14 weeks out… We've got a few injuries, we've just been unfortunate. So that's where we're at.”

First-choice right-back Ricardo Pereira is also out of contention following knee surgery and Caglar Soyuncu picked up a needless red card in the defeat to Bournemouth, so will also miss the remainder of the season.

Leicester City's Demarai Gray (left) celebrates scoring the Foxes' second goal against Sheffield United on Thursday.
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Leicester City's Demarai Gray (left) celebrates scoring the Foxes' second goal against Sheffield United on Thursday.MICHAEL REGANPool via REUTERS

All to play for in the battle for the Champions League

Back in January Leicester were flying high in second place and looked to have wrapped up Champions League qualification for only the second time in their history. They were 14 points clear of fifth at that stage but a worrying run of form, particularly since the restart, leaves them hanging on by goal difference.

The Foxes’ win on Thursday was just their second win in eight games since the Premier League resumed and they have been caught by the good form of Chelsea and Manchester United. That victory confirmed European football for next season but Rodgers has called on his side to “create some more history” by sealing a place in the Champions League.

Tottenham and Manchester United to come for Leicester

Leicester have two tough games to end their league campaign though with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur and a final-day showdown against Manchester United still to come. Chelsea visit champions Liverpool for their penultimate fixture before facing Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are still in contention for the Europa League places. Manchester United have a winnable game against West Ham United next week but know that defeat to Leicester on the final day will likely see them miss out on the Champions League.


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