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Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers will be considering “more than talent” when he chooses the his starting XI in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
The Foxes head coach expects physicality to be a key factor in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, and so hinted that any players of his that are short on the desired match fitness will be left among the substitutes to have an impact later in the game.
This affects James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira, both of whom have been in and out of the side of late following recent injuries. After they started the defeat to Newcastle, the duo were left out of the win at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Ayoze Perez and Luke Thomas coming into the side.
Maddison came on as a substitute in place of Perez for the final 25 minutes, and did have more joy than the Spaniard, but Rodgers has hinted that he may be on the bench when the match kicks off at Wembley.
“There are a number of things to consider in a game of this magnitude,” said Rodgers at his pre-match press conference.
“There is probably not a coach in the country who rates Maddison as highly as I do. I know what his qualities are, and I know what he can give a team.
“There will be other players, Ricardo Pereira, we’ve all seen him over the last couple of years, the levels he can get to.
“But ultimately in these games it’s about more than that, it’s about more than talent. You have to weigh up the physical nature of the game, what you want out of the game, and then try to strategise it.
“If the players are not quite to the level you would want them to be at, do they then have an impact at a different time in the game? This is all part of the strategy and the plan for when we arrive into the game, and something we will come up with in the final 24 hours.”