Brendan Rodgers calls on Leicester City to end 20-year League Cup drought

Foxes manager tells players not focus on past and attempt to 'create new history', ahead of semi-final first leg against Aston Villa

epa08097968 Hamza Choudhury (2-L) of Leicester City  celebrates the 3-0 lead during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Leicester City held at St James' Park stadium in Newcastle, Britain, 01 January 2020.  EPA/LYNNE CAMERON EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications
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Brendan Rodgers has urged Leicester City to "create new history" by reaching the League Cup final.

The Premier League high-fliers, who last won the trophy in 2000, host Aston Villa in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday as overwhelming favourites to make it to Wembley.

The 2016 Premier League champions, who are second in the league this season, have not reached a major final since.

"I'm aware the club hasn't been to a final for 20 years so let's get there then," Rodgers said on Tuesday. "Let's not be worried too much about the past. Let's create this new history but we know we're going to have to play well to get there.

"It's always nice when you have something tangible to show for your progress."

Rodgers is expected to name a strong side as Leicester seek a first-leg advantage.

"It's important to stay calm, you don't need to magnify the importance of the game," he said. "Every game you go into you go with the intent to be aggressive, playing well and winning.

"It's the same preparation, very calm, full of details and how can we exploit any weaknesses Aston Villa may have?"

Rodgers said there was no change in James Maddison's contract situation, with talks continuing over a new deal.

The former Liverpool and Celtic manager said he was hopeful the 23-year-old would commit himself to the club, after scoring nine goals and making three assists in all competitions this season.

"James is a talented player and he'll be here in January and beyond... there's no message [to United]. Nobody will leave in January, that's for sure," Rodgers said.

"He's a player we're keen to remain here and help us on this journey over the next years. James and his representatives are speaking with the club and these things take time.

Reports have also linked defender Ben Chilwell with a move away from Leicester, with Chelsea and Manchester City among those clubs interested.

"There's no pressure to sell, and there's no need for us to sell. We've got a really strong squad and lots of them are young players evolving," Rodgers said.

"We want to [add players] but if we can't we'll continue with the squad we've got and look to reinforce in the summer."

Rodgers is looking to extend his 30-match unbeaten run in cup competitions stretching back to his spell at Scotland's Celtic where he won several trophies.

Striker Jamie Vardy is in contention to feature after overcoming a minor calf injury that ruled him out of Leicester's last three games. Filip Benkovic is available despite suffering a knee injury at the weekend.

Daniel Amartey is out with an ankle injury while Wes Morgan is sidelined with a groin problem after coming off in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Wigan on Saturday.

Manchester United are taking on Manchester City in the other semi-final, with the first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday.