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Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the “maturity” of captain James Maddison as the Foxes bid to escape the Premier League relegation battle.

Maddison will be a vital player for Leicester in what looks an incredibly close fight to avoid the drop, with the bottom nine teams currently separated by just four points.

And Rodgers believes that the 26-year-old, who made his first start for England in their Euro 2024 qualifying win over Ukraine at Wembley last weekend, is relishing his “leadership” role at the club.

“I think he’s matured on and off the pitch, particularly in the last few years,” said Rodgers, who dropped Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez from the squad for a game against West Ham in April 2021 for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

“He’s got a great view of the game. He creates goals and scores goals and what he’s improved over the last couple of years has been the intensity in his game when he hasn’t got the ball.

“But off the pitch he’s very educated, he speaks well about the game, he speaks honestly about it as well in terms of his performance, the team performance.

“That maturity over the last few reasons has really come to the fore and it’s great to see because you need that in every team.

“You need players that are going to take on that leadership role and not just worry about themselves but worry about the team; he’s certainly one of those.”

Rodgers had mixed news on the injury front ahead of Saturday’s game against relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with Jonny Evans returning to training but Youri Tielemans set to be out for several more weeks after suffering a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.

Harry Souttar is expected to be fit after he was not risked by Australia in their game against Ecuador and was sent back to the club early due to a minor ankle problem.