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Rodgers backs Vardy to rediscover form after barren spell

europa league round of 32 second leg leicester city v slavia prague
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has backed Jamie Vardy to rediscover his form as the striker looks to continue his hot streak against Arsenal.

Former England international Vardy has five goals in his last four games against the Gunners and 11 in 13 overall but has struggled since the start of the year.

He has netted just once in his last 11 outings after drawing another blank in Thursday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to Slavia Prague as the Foxes crashed out of the Europa League.

Vardy, who had groin surgery in January, scored the winner in the Foxes’ 1-0 victory at the Emirates in October and Rodgers expects him to step up ahead of Sunday’s game at the King Power Stadium.

“I always get 100 per cent from Jamie,” he said, with the Foxes third in the Premier League going into the weekend. “His mentally is strong and even when he is not in the game as such he’s always ready for opportunities which come along.

“You saw in the game (against Arsenal) when he came off the bench for the last half an hour he was sensational.

“He will always disrupt defenders’ balance. He hasn’t quite got the service but we’ve still been winning – that’s important – and it’s not down to just Jamie to score the goals. The contribution has to come from the team.

“He’s the type of striker who relies on service, in terms of his movement as well and making more runs.

“He is a player who needs the service and when you have so many players out – the guys who can serve him – it makes it a little more difficult for him.”

James Maddison’s hip injury starves Vardy of one of his main providers and Rodgers admitted the midfielder’s problem is a frustration.

“He was in great form. He’s a real catalyst for our team with his consistency. Having been out in the early part of the season, his consistency has developed and he’s been absolutely brilliant,” he said.

“The injury he has isn’t time driven. He had an operation at the end of last season and he’s got a little issue with his tendon just above that.

“We’re hoping he’ll be back sooner rather than later, but we can’t put a timeline on it as it’s just about how he feels and how he can recover over the next few weeks.”

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