Rodgers full of admiration for former title rival Pellegrini

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his admiration for West Ham counterpart Manuel Pellegrini – the man who beat him to the Premier League title.

Rodgers was in charge of the last Liverpool team to mount a serious title challenge during the 2013/14 season, losing out to Pellegrini’s Manchester City side.

Late slip-ups against Chelsea and Crystal Palace ultimately cost Liverpool, allowing City to pip them to the trophy by two points.

Rodgers will face Pellegrini for the first time since that disappointment when Leicester travel to the London Stadium on Saturday.

Ahead of the game, he said: “He’s a really good guy. He stopped us winning the title a few years back but he’s a great man, wonderfully experienced.

“I have come across him a few times and I spoke to him last summer when he came back from China and went to West Ham.

“He’s done a fantastic job wherever he’s been in his career. West Ham have some really good players and his job is to co-ordinate them to hopefully challenge at top end of the table.

“I look forward to seeing him, he’s a top class manager. He’s someone I really respect.”

Leicester will be hoping to bounce back from their home defeat to Newcastle as they challenge to finish in that coveted seventh spot, which could bring European football next season.

“I’ve been pleased with how the players have responded in training,” said Rodgers. “We are playing against a good team in West Ham United with good, quality players and they have been good at home.

“It will be a test but we will look to play better than the last game and we know we have good players who are looking forward to this game. West Ham have got very talented players and they are at home and will want to win the game.”

The Foxes’ away record is the sixth best in the Premier League, better than Arsenal’s.

“That’s a huge credit to the players because they have a resilience and good mentality and strong spirit and when you go away from home you have to have that,” said Rodgers.

“They have that fight and they have shown that already in the games we have played so far.”

Marc Albrighton will be available to start the game at West Ham. The winger returned last week from a two-month absence with a hamstring problem, playing the final 10 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

While the 29-year-old is not yet able to complete 90 minutes, he is fit enough to be selected in the starting line-up.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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