Leicester City have been handed a big boost ahead of their clash with Manchester City after James Maddison returned to fitness.
The English midfielder has been missing for the last four Premier League games with a hip injury, and with Brendan Rodgers confirming the 24-year-old’s return to fitness, the Northern Irishman must bring him straight back into his starting line-up.
Maddison is currently embroiled in the most productive season of his Foxes’ career so far. Despite having missed 10 matches in all competitions, he has racked up 11 goals and 10 assists to his name.
No player in the entire squad at the King Power Stadium can better his total goal contributions, Jamie Vardy matching Maddison with 14 goals and seven assists of his own thus far.
It is form which has seen the former Norwich City man earn plenty of plaudits, with Rodgers in particular labelling his midfielder as “immense”.
That form has also been key this season considering that, in the 16 matches where Maddison has directly contributed to a goal, the Foxes have only lost once – a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Leeds United.
Coming up against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it goes without saying that Leicester will certainly need their most creative players if they are to earn anything from the game – Maddison, now rated at £54m by Transfermarkt, being amongst them.
Ayoze Perez has been deputising in his absence but does not quite have the same threat, having only scored twice in the Premier League this season.
As a matter of fact, Maddison consistently betters the Spaniard on the pitch, so it would be nonsensical to leave him on the sidelines. According to WhoScored, he produces more key passes – 1.8 to 1.1 – and more shots – 2.3 to 1.4 – than Perez.
With the possibility of that output, Rodgers certainly has to consider including Maddison from the off against Manchester City this evening.