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Football Today: Brendan Rodgers gets a wake-up call, Claudio Ranieri in the spotlight

British clubs had a mixed time of things in the Europa League on Thursday, with Leicester City and Celtic failing to join West Ham United and Rangers in the knockout stage.

Leicester’s exit was particularly embarrassing and they seem like an excellent place to start the latest Football Today column.

Rodgers gets a wake-up call

The Foxes’ 3-2 defeat at Napoli coupled with Spartak Moscow’s 1-0 win at Legia Warsaw left them third a group they could have won.

They now face a play-off round in February to enter the Europa Conference League – a competition that Brendan Rodgers claimed he wasn’t aware of after the game.

The Leicester manager’s ignorance towards the competition was staggering, given his club’s status within the football world.

The European snobbery demonstrated by some clubs is mind-boggling. If Rodgers doesn’t know about the competition, he should do. That’s his job.

Ranieri in the spotlight

Watford’s visit to Brentford this evening is a hugely important fixture for both teams as they strive to steer clear of relegation this season.

The Bees have kept their heads above water this term, winning four and drawing five of their 15 outings to date.

By contrast, Watford are just three points above the drop zone and in danger of making an immediate return to the Championship.

Given that Watford’s owners are not averse to sacking managers, Claudio Ranieri desperately needs his team to start winning games.

Friday football on TV

  • Cologne vs Augsburg – Bundesliga – Sky Sports
  • Genoa vs Sampdoria – Serie A – BT Sport
  • Real Mallorca vs Celta Vigo – La Liga – La Liga TV
  • Nantes vs Lens – Ligue 1 – BT Sport
  • Brentford vs Watford – Premier League – Sky Sports

One to watch

Liverpool and Manchester United continue to be linked with Kalvin Phillips. In light of Leeds United’s struggles this season, don’t be surprised to see one of them make a bid in January.

Prediction

Both teams to score in the games at Brentford, Real Mallorca and Nantes looks worth an interest. The treble pays 5/1.

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