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  1. Another game where we don’t know the state of the opposition with regards to Covid. Leicester have had their last 2 games called off and had to shut their training ground for a few days as the Omicron variant swept through the camp. Even before that, it wasn’t clear how strong Rodgers would go for this one. He’s had to contend with centre back issues this season (one could argue that he’s always had to content with centre back issues, although this time it is down to injuries and not Keystone Cops training being put into practice). Still, it’s a League Cup quarter final with a place in the semi finals at stake. Toughness. Resolve. Effort. Skill. Energy. Nous. Vitality. Effervescence. Luck. Organisation. Panache. Electricity. Shape. I don’t ask for much. We played this lot at the King Power a few years ago in the 3rd round, with a scratch XI doing OK against an almost-full-strength Leicester for whom ‘Japanese Dirk’ Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring, and Islam Slimani got the other. Not much is made about Leicester spending close to £30m on the Algerian striker. He spent most of his time bench-warming or off on loan somewhere, until Lyon signed him in the summer. It was better back in October 1986. This was the post-European football landscape English clubs were in, so teams were taking the League Cup much more seriously. Oxford and Norwich had won the previous 2 editions, after Liverpool had claimed 4 on the bounce. Liverpool would go on to reach the final in 1987 against Arsenal, but first they had to negotiate a 3rd Round meeting at Anfield against Leicester. It was a routine hammering, with Liverpool emerging 4-1 winners thanks to a hat-trick from Steve McMahon and another goal from Kenny. Steve Moran, once supposedly a star in the making at Southampton at the beginning of the decade, got the consolation for the Foxes. That Leicester side contained a young Gary Mac in midfield and a young boring Brummie bastard named Alan Smith up front. I can’t find highlights but here’s the match report from the Echo. The big box office hit in late October 1986 was a fish-out-of-water tale about a rugged yet charming Aussie bushman Mick Dundee and the American journalist initially sent to the Australian outback to write a story about the crocodile-slaying exploits of said bushman. She is annoyed by him at first having realised that the legend around him was absolute bollocks, but ends up falling for him and asks him to come with her to New York so she can write more about him as she gets to know him better. Cue loads of New Yorkers surprised yet intrigued by the funny talking foreigner in the hat with a big fuck-off knife as he mingles with high society and subway station dregs. Crocodile Dundee became a global hit and made a (sort-of) star out of Paul Hogan. He would go on to make 2 sequels alongside Linda Kozlowski (who became his wife in real life), the first of which was alright and mostly set in the outback, and the third sounding like a massive pile of shit that was set in LA. Crocodile Dundee is very much in the same vein as Jewel Of The Nile and Romancing The Stone, although Hogan is a lot more convincing as someone who deals with rugged terrain on a daily basis, compared to Michael Douglas. Leicester and Rodgers have had a so-so season thus far, hampered by inconsistency, a few injuries and a Covid outbreak. His Europa League campaign has been typically Rodgers as his team now find themselves in the Conference League in the early spring. It’s hard to know if, assuming this quarter final actually goes ahead as scheduled, he’ll go for a strong line-up or go with the kids. Jurgen is in the same boat. He’s thus far used the competition to give game time to the kids and also the first-team fringe. I’ve a feeling, again assuming we are not hampered by Covid ourselves, that he’ll want to use a mix of youth and experience in both this week’s games. I’d expect the likes of Keeva in goal, Neco and Big Joe in defence, Taki in attack and maybe Div if he’s recovered from his recent knock. The rest of them I imagine will be from the under 23s. I don’t think he’ll want to use Kostas as Robbo will be serving a suspension following his straight red at Spurs. Whatever he chooses, the attitude and application need to be there. Ensure those and we stand a very good chance of making the semis, which would be fair dinkum.
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