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, 22 September 2018
Fulham v Watford, Craven Cottage 13:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 16:00
Cardiff City v Manchester City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
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