Rodgers: Vardy can 'hurt' City and stop them from winning the Premier League

Vardy has scored 11 goals in as many games and could be set to ruin City’s hopes of a second successive title

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Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy can “hurt” Manchester City and put a major dent in their quest to defend the Premier League title, according to Brendan Rodgers.

City host Liverpool on Monday evening knowing that a win will take them above Liverpool with just one match remaining, away to Brighton next Sunday.

But Vardy is in a rich vein of form, scoring 11 goals in as many games. In the last seven seasons, Vardy has scored 34 times against the top-six teams – a return that only Sergio Aguero with 44 can better.

Having found the net five times against City, the former England striker’s current manager Rodgers says that Pep Guardiola ought to factor in Vardy’s quality, otherwise he will punish them.

“When I was preparing a team to play against him you just knew you’d got to be really careful,” Rodgers said.

“If you don’t counter-press the game well and there’s space to play that pass, he’s going to hurt you. It’s brilliant to have him on your side.”

Although City need to win at the Etihad, it appears that Guardiola will be instructing his team on how to handle Vardy. He described him as “an incredible striker with his movement, finishing and fighting”.

“His career speaks for itself,” he added, “not just the last few games, but (lately) he’s scored in every single game. He’s done incredible in this league.”

The home team will be expected to dominate proceedings, but Rodgers has transformed Leicester since he took from Claude Puel in February.

And the former Celtic manager is determined to return from Manchester with a result that would help his former team Liverpool towards a maiden Premier League title.

“For us it’s about super-compact pressing at the right moment and when you have the ball, playing quickly,” he said. “Can you come out of that? Then the space is there for you.

“It’s exciting to be involved in the title race but my thoughts are solely with Leicester and doing what we can to get a result.

“We respect that it will be a tough game for us. But we have a model that can beat any team.”

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