(Reuters) - Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes his team has an opportunity to assess their Premier League title challenge when they visit defending champions Manchester City on Saturday.
The Foxes have emerged has surprise contenders for the title and sit second in the standings. A victory at the Etihad Stadium would cut the gap to leaders Liverpool to seven points.
Rodgers does not believe his team are favourites against third-placed City but said his players were keen to extend their nine-game unbeaten run in the competition.
“They (City) play at a fantastic level, it’s a great opportunity for us to show our level,” Rodgers told a news conference on Friday.
“At the beginning of the season nobody really expected us to be in the position that we’re in. The players have been absolutely first class throughout the season... we have a belief in our work and how we work.
“People will look at it at this stage of the season and try and say that Liverpool have maybe won the title and Manchester City won’t, or will Leicester do it again? (But) there is still so much football to play.”
During his managerial stint at Liverpool, Rodgers helped English forward Raheem Sterling break into the first team and develop into one of the league’s brightest prospects before he secured a move to Manchester City in 2015.
Rodgers said he was always convinced Sterling, who has scored nine league goals this season, could become world class.
“When we put him into the team he played with such intensity, such drive and quality, and there were lots of positions he played in for me because he was so versatile, such an incredible young footballer,” Rodgers added.
“With Pep (Guardiola)’s coaching he has developed into a consistently world-class operator, and he will believe himself there is still a lot more to come.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge