Brendan Rodgers pushing title challenge to back of his mind

Leicester may be the early Premier League frontrunners but manager Brendan Rodgers insists emulating the club’s unlikely title triumph from four years ago is a long way from his mind.

The Foxes moved to the top of the table before the latest international break after collecting their sixth win from eight matches and have made a better start to this season than when they lifted the title in 2015-16.

Even in this most unpredictable of seasons, Rodgers pointed out that not even a quarter of the campaign has been played as he looked ahead to this weekend’s trip to former club Liverpool.

Leicester are top of the table after eight games (Catherine Ivill/PA)
Leicester are top of the table after eight games (Catherine Ivill/PA)

“We’ve only played eight games, so I haven’t even thought about it,” he said. “We’ve made a good start but for us, what’s very important is just a continuation for us to be really honest in our approach to the games.

“We’ve got to work as hard as we possibly can to try to ensure we have the humility that we have in the group which is important, and we prepare every day as best we can for every game.

“That’s what’s only in our thinking and nothing else.”

Leicester have won at Manchester City and Arsenal in the last couple of months but a daunting challenge awaits them on Sunday evening as Liverpool have not lost in the league at Anfield since April 2017.

While Liverpool will be missing several key players including Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Rodgers knows the scale of the task facing his side.

Mohamed Salah is among of a number of Liverpool absentees on Sunday (Peter Byrne/PA)
Mohamed Salah is among of a number of Liverpool absentees on Sunday (Peter Byrne/PA)

“They’re an incredible side and even though they have players missing, it’s still a squad full of world-class players that can really hurt you,” Rodgers said.

“You’ll have to defend well, be aggressive when you defend and in those moments in attack you’ve got to be efficient and clinical.

“I’m really looking forward to the game, it’s always great when you’re playing the best and they’ve clearly been that.”

Rodgers will be without a few first-team players himself as Caglar Soyuncu and Wilfred Ndidi remain on the sidelines with groin injuries and although Ricardo Pereira is back in training after a knee issue, he misses out.

However, Timothy Castagne is back following a hamstring complaint while Wesley Fofana has recovered from a small problem in his knee for a fixture which sees Rodgers return to the club he managed between 2012 and 2015.

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City – Premier League – The Hawthorns
Timothy Castagne is in contention for Leicester (Tim Keeton/PA)

The Northern Irishman guided Liverpool to the brink of a maiden Premier League title in 2014 before they were pipped by Manchester City but Jurgen Klopp helped the Reds break a 30-year wait for a top-flight crown last season.

“Liverpool is an incredible club,” Rodgers added. “The last couple of seasons they’ve been world champions, Premier League champions, European champions, it’s remarkable consistency. They’re a top, top team with a great manager.

“I was part of the story there when it was totally different. The time that I was there we were in eighth position and trying to create something with young players and loan players that we had to bring in.

“We nearly won the title with it.

“I’m delighted for the club, it’s a fantastic club, I learned so much from my time there and exposed to so many situations that you normally wouldn’t be as a manager. It was a great learning time for me.”

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