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Talking Tactics

Vardy profiting from Rodgers' high press

Adrian Clarke 15 Mar 2019
Brendan Rodgers Jamie Vardy

Adrian Clarke says the Leicester City striker can thrive under new manager's tactics ahead of trip to Burnley

Adrian Clarke looks at a key tactical talking point in Matchweek 31.

Early signs are that Brendan Rodgers wants to play to the strengths of Jamie Vardy.

That means Leicester City will look to win turnovers in good areas and move the ball quickly with incisive possession.

This fresh focus has benefited both Vardy and the Foxes ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley.

In two matches under Rodgers, the striker has scored three goals and assisted another.

It is worth noting that three of those four goal contributions came from early passes, releasing the pacy 32-year-old in behind the opposition’s defence.

Tenacious off the ball

Rodgers has deployed two different formations so far: a 3-4-2-1 at Watford and a 4-1-4-1 against Fulham.

It was clear in both matches that Leicester’s midfielders were working harder and pressing higher than under previous manager Claude Puel.

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Squeezing space and rushing opponents as they looked to pass out from the back, they forced mistakes to win possession in dangerous areas.

This was especially evident against Fulham, who conceded twice after losing possession under duress inside their own half.

In central areas, Leicester were far more aggressive than in Puel’s final match.

The impressive Wilfried Ndidi won seven of nine tackles in an extremely combative showing.

Precision passing

Rodgers has inherited a group of young players who can pass with confidence.

Leicester boast a trio of gifted attacking midfielders in James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans.

All are technically excellent and can supply Vardy with the passes he needs to be the most effective he can be.

Difference under Rodgers
Leicester City Ave under Rodgers Season ave
Passes/90 549 439
Pass accuracy 84.4% 78.2%
Long passes 9.9% 14.3%

Rodgers wants his players to be comfortable and dangerous when dominating possession.

Enjoying more possession, using short passes and generally being sharper all round, the new manager has tweaked the style quite dramatically and Burnley will be in for a tough challenge.

Also in this series

Part 1: Lallana giving punch to Liverpool midfield
Part 3: Calvert-Lewin can emulate Lukaku with ruthless streak

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