(Reuters) – Leicester City manager Claude Puel is mulling over whether to rest centre back Harry Maguire for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Huddersfield Town.
Maguire has played 63 games since the start of last season, including seven with England at the World Cup in Russia.
Wes Morgan is suspended after being sent off in Leicester’s 4-2 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, and Puel knows he will be criticised if he fields a new centre back pairing for the first time this season and his team lose again.
Jonny Evans is set to start in place of Morgan, and could be paired with Caglar Soyuncu or Josh Knight, neither of whom have played this season, in the heart of the Leicester defence.
“Harry has played a lot of games, but I will analyse it,” Puel told reporters on Thursday.
“To participate in a competition like the World Cup is tough to come back with good focus and freshness and concentration, this is a common thing.
“If I rest him for this game and we lose, I know I will be criticised, but it is important to keep players fresh and we must have a good focus about this. Players need to have some protection.”
Huddersfield, who are yet to win in the league, are third-bottom in the table, and Puel called on his players to bounce back quickly from the Bournemouth loss.
“We need a good response for us but also for the fans,” he said. “They came to watch us away from home, a lot of fans, they deserve better results from us.
“I think (the Bournemouth defeat) is now behind us. Of course at the end of the game there was a lot of disappointment.
“It was frustrating but now it is behind us and we want to have a good response in our next game.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)