English Premiership

Ranieri admits Leicester are in a relegation fight

2017-01-11 09:10
Claudio Ranieri.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Claudio Ranieri said that his Leicester City team and the fans must open their eyes to the fact that the club is in the middle of a relegation battle.

“It is not a fairy-tale anymore for us," Ranieri told Rai Sport. "We must avoid relegation, whereas [Chelsea manager Antonio] Conte has the chance to fight for the title and I really wish him to do so."

Defending champions Leicester, who are 15th in the table, play Chelsea at the weekend.

“We must achieve safety, which is different from them," Ranieri said, with his side just six points above the drop zone.

“Our project is to try and grow and slowly, slowly try to reach the heights," he said, with memories of last season when at this stage Leicester were second after 20 games, one point behind Arsenal.

“We must forget about what happened last season when we were really good and made the most of a poor season for the top teams in the Premier League."

“And we were magnificent in giving our 120%.”

Sunday morning's clash also sees a huge reversal for Chelsea from last year. At this stage they were 14th on just 23 points, compared with this season's 49.

They go into the game against the Foxes with a five-point lead at the top of the table.

Ranieri, who was crowned as the world's best coach by Fifa for guiding the Foxes to the Premier League title last season will be looking to turn around a disappointing title defence against Chelsea at the King Power Stadium.

Kick off is at 19:30.(SA Time)

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Saturday, 19 August 2017
Swansea City v Manchester United, Liberty Stadium 13:30
Liverpool v Crystal Palace, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 16:00
Southampton v West Ham United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Bromwich Albion, Turf Moor 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Watford, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Stoke City v Arsenal, Bet365 Stadium 18:30
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Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United, The John Smith's Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Monday, 21 August 2017
Manchester City v Everton, Etihad Stadium 21:00
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