Leicester hit with crisis as schedule catches up with Brendan Rodgers’ men

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is facing up to a striker crisis going into European battle tonight.

The Foxes set out on the Europa League trail against Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk with star marksman Jamie Vardy ruled out with a calf injury.

It leaves them with only one recognised forward to call on – Kelechi Ihanacho – because Islam Slimani wasn't registered for the competition.

The £28m Algerian looked certain to be leaving the club in the summer and wasn't named in the club's Europa League squad.

Rodgers explained: “The squad had to be handed in much earlier and unfortunately we were thinking he wasn't going to be here. That's the reason.

“Jamie is a huge miss but we have to work with what we've got. We just have to find ways around it.”

Rodgers is expecting a tough game against the underdogs of the group but says Leicester's sole objective has always been to go as far as they can in the competition.

He added: “In Europe you are up against top teams from their country so all games can prove difficult. We've worked hard to get here. It's brilliant and we want to embrace it and enjoy it.

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“We want to give it our best shot and go as far as we can. Stripping it right back, the first job is to get out of the group stages – and as quickly as possible.”

Key defender Caglar Soyuncu is also out as Leicester weigh up how to deal with the abductor muscle tear which could rule him out for three months.

The Turkish international has seen a specialist in London and Rodgers said: “It can be operated on or managed carefully. We're trying to find the best solution.”

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Fellow defender Jonny Evans gave Rodgers something to smile about, revealing he's not got one eye on leaving the club in the summer.

The 32-year-old Northern Ireland defender is out of contract at the end of the season but insists that while no formal talks have been held, he'd be more than happy to stay.

Evans said: “I have really enjoyed my time here, if that option becomes available I'm sure it's one I would take.

“If we can come to an agreement I'm sure it won't be a problem and it'll be sorted soon.”

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