Soccer

Shinji Okazaki set to make return to pitch for Leicester City

Reuters

Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki could return to the squad for Saturday’s English Premier League match against Bournemouth after shaking off a knee injury that has kept him out for three games, manager Claude Puel said on Thursday.

Japan international Okazaki last played for Leicester during a 1-1 draw with Swansea City on Feb. 3 and missed league matches against Manchester City and Stoke City and the F.A. Cup fifth-round win over Sheffield United.

“He came back this week with the squad and we will see tomorrow if he can come into the squad for the next game or not,” Puel told reporters on Thursday.

“I will see if he is match fit or not . . . there are no other injuries,” the Frenchman added.

Leicester is eighth in the league standings with 36 points after nine wins, nine draws and 10 defeats. The Foxes are winless in four league matches, drawing both their home games in that period.

“A lot of teams come here with a strong defensive unit. We need to put them under pressure with good intensity,” Puel said. “We’ve lost some important points.

“We had a good month in January but it was more difficult in February. . . We need more consistency.”

Bournemouth is 11th in the league with 32 points. The team has lost twice in its last 10 league matches and has four wins in that period. Bournemouth has found the net in each of its last nine league matches, scoring 18 goals during that run.

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