Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has told Jamie Vardy to prove to England boss Sam Allardyce he deserves to play.
The forward was left on the bench for the Three Lions’ last-gasp 1-0 win in Slovakia on Sunday despite Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney continuing to misfire.
Kane has scored once in his last seven internationals and is also yet to net this season while Rooney only has two goals for his country since November.
Daniel Sturridge was preferred ahead of Vardy off the bench despite the Liverpool forward’s recent injury struggles.
Ranieri believes Vardy, last season’s 24-goal top scorer, will be ready for Leicester’s trip to Liverpool on Saturday because he did not feature for his country but wants him to prove a point to new international boss Allardyce.
He said: “Yes he’s refreshed, he trained very well, for me it is good – for him no, maybe he is more hungry. Show me. You have to fight and say ‘hey Sam I am ready to play’.
“It wasn’t only Jamie. Also (Daniel) Amartey, (Danny) Drinkwater, Ben Chilwell, Shinji Okazaki and a lot of my players went around the world without playing.
“That’s good. They recover a little more. If these managers are national managers they want the players and we must understand the international managers need players and then they can choose.
“It’s important that everybody is in good condition. ”
Vardy scored one of the goals of the season against Liverpool last term when he netted a brilliant volley in their 2-0 win in February as the Foxes marched to the title by 10 points.
It is Liverpool’s first home game of the season after the redevelopment of their Main Stand and Ranieri believes Vardy and Leicester need to be confident.
“Yes, but he must be confident,” said the Italian, who could hand record £28million signing Islam Slimani a debut at Anfield. “We are a very strong team. We didn’t win the title because we are lucky. We won because we were better than the others. We must be confident.
“It was a special moment. But I forgot. Believe me, always I forget what happened yesterday.”