Vardy looking ‘sharp’, Cornet latest, Leeds appoint Marsch

We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily.

VARDY BACK FOR LEICESTER

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) will be back in the squad for tomorrow’s Gameweek 27 fixture against Burnley. The veteran forward has been sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury, during which time Leicester City have not won a single Premier League game.

Discussing his return, Rodgers said:

“Yes, he’ll be available for the squad. Jamie Vardy will be back in the squad, which is great news for us. He’s looked sharp in the few days’ training he’s had so he’ll come in and play a part.

For us, we’re looking to finish the season strong. When we get one or two of these players back, of course that’ll make a difference for us. To have that level of mentality as well as the ability is very important for any squad. (Vardy is) a proven player at the level. He’s a top player at the level.

What you find with top players that have done it consistently is they have that mentality. When you have that back in your squad, of course that makes you stronger. To have him back, to be able to travel and feature, is great. That’s a huge boost for us.”

Elsewhere, Ricardo Pereira (£5.2m) Marc Albrighton (£5.2m) are fit and available, which means the Foxes have five players who remain out: Wesley Fofana (£4.3m), Jonny Evans (£5.4m), Timothy Castagne (£5.3m), James Justin (£4.9m) Ryan Bertrand (£4.6m).

On a return for Fofana, Rodgers said:

“Not for this game. We’re just trying to schedule in the time we can bring him into the team. It’s difficult when you don’t have so many Under-23s games. He’s only been training a week or so and he’s looked fantastic. Over these next few weeks, we’ll try to schedule him into some game time. The great news is he’s looking very good in training. It’s hopefully a matter of time for him.”

Castagne, meanwhile, is a few weeks away, while Justin is expected back soon:

(For Castagne), it’ll probably be another three weeks or so. He had the operation on his leg, but at the same time, he had his shoulder done because that has been an issue. Both recovery times were aligned. He’s back on the field, he’s doing his physical work, but we’re looking at maybe three weeks or so.”

“It’s just unfortunate that (Justin) came back (from an ACL injury) to pick up the injury, but he’s probably about a week or so away. He’s out on the field, working with the rehabilitation team, but hopefully in the next week he’ll be back.”

CORNET ‘FITTER AGAIN’

Sean Dyche told reporters on Monday that Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m) is ready for tomorrow’s match against Leicester, whilst also providing an update on several other members of his squad:

“We’re waiting on Erik (Pieters), he got a tweak on his knee so we’re waiting on a scan. Dale (Stephens) missed out with a slight strain and will probably miss tomorrow. Charlie Taylor is fit and well and got half an hour at Palace. Westy (Westwood) is back and clear of Covid.

And Maxwel (Cornet) is fitter again after a knock on his foot – he’d only had one day’s training before the Palace game but has trained today. Vydra is also back on the grass but Johann (Gudmundsson) is longer term, he’ll be some weeks and he’s been incredibly unfortunate.”

MOURA REMAINS OUT AS CONTE DISCUSSES WING-BACKS

Antonio Conte expects to have the “same squad” as Saturday for Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup trip to Middlesbrough, with Japhet Tanganga (£4.2m), Oliver Skipp (£4.4m), Rodrigo Bentancur (£5.0m) and Lucas Moura (£6.4m) still out.

“It was the same, we have the same players, the same squad that we faced for Leeds. No Skipp, no Tanganga, no Mora, no Bentancur.”

The Italian tactician then went on to discuss Matt Doherty (£4.7m) and his other options at wing-back:

“He’s another player improving, working very hard and improved a lot. He’s a serious guy. I like him, if he plays or doesn’t play, his commitment and his attitude is always at the top. I think he’s improving a lot and he understood that in this squad he can have an important part for this team.

With Emerson on the right but also Doherty on the left he can give me a good alternative. I was pleased to see him perform at this level. It was the same for Sessegnon.

Now we have recovered Sergio Reguilon and also Emerson. We’re improving, we’re working hard. We have to use the defeats to learn, to continue to improve in many aspects, not only football aspects but also character and spirit and desire to be strong.”

PEP ON BERNARDO

In his FA Cup pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola didn’t have much to report on the injury front, but did discuss Bernardo Silva (£7.3m), who was further forward at Everton Riyad Mahrez (£8.8m) had to settle for a place on the bench.

“The impact of Bernardo is so important. He is a player who likes to play inside. I think in the last few games we have struggled to find him in the middle, more outside. It depends on the opposition. Normally they try to close a lot of gaps inside.

Yeah, but sometimes we think he can make a boost for us. I think he (Bernardo) is a typical no 10 behind the striker, but the opponents we’ve faced in the last two closed the space there. It is the most difficult part of the pitch.

The last two games I play with KDB and Gundo and I wanted to use him (Bernardo) so I used him out wide. I tried to figure out the spaces to create a lot of problems for the opposition. He can drop to the right and left, and smell and try to be involved with the ball.”

LEEDS APPOINT MARSCH

Leeds United have appointed former RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch as their new head coach, pending international clearance.

After leaving MLS side New York Red Bulls in 2018, Marsch joined Leipzig as Ralf Rangnick’s assistant before being appointed at RB Salzburg in June 2019, where he enjoyed a successful spell, winning a league and cup double in his first season.

He then returned to Leipzig, this time as head coach when he took over from Julian Nagelsmann who left to manage Bayern Munich. However, he left the German club in December last year having won eight of his 21 matches in charge.

Marsch succeeds Marcelo Bielsa, who was sacked on Sunday, with Leeds sitting 16th in the Premier League table just two points above the relegation zone. However, they are about to embark on a kinder run of fixtures, which includes a double-header against Leicester City and Aston Villa in Gameweek 28.


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