Claudio Ranieri is expecting a “tough battle” against Burnley at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as Leicester City adapt to juggling domestic and European commitments.
Leicester beat Club Brugge 3-0 on Wednesday to get their maiden Champions League campaign off to a flying start, but they have had a mixed opening few weeks to the Premier League season.
Ranieri’s side lost 4-1 at Liverpool last time out and the Italian accepted it will be a different challenge this season for his side to play regularly in midweek and at weekends.
“For us everything is new,” Ranieri said at his pre-match news conference on Friday. “I want to see how my players respond.
“They told me they are okay and they must show this on the pitch. It’s a tough match [against Burnley]. We know very well that it will be a battle.
“Burnley are very strong and very solid. They play 4-4-2 and are narrow. I’m very impressed with them this season.”
Record signing Islam Slimani could make his Premier League debut for Leicester on Saturday, while Ranieri revealed regular right-back Danny Simpson is fit to return.
“I don’t know if Slimani is ready for 90 minutes but it’s important for him to understand the spirit of the Premier League,” Ranieri said.
“Slimani is an intelligent player and I’m sure if he plays he will be fine.
“Danny Simpson trained very well and he’s ready to play. Papy Mendy needs another week. Jeffrey Schlupp is ready.”
Ranieri was happy with his side’s showing in Bruges on Wednesday but is now turning his attentions back to Leicester’s title defence.
“Our first Champions League match was a good victory,” he said. “Everyone was happy and now we focus on the Premier League.
“I’m so pleased with our performance because after the Liverpool defeat I was expecting something. We played well in Bruges.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!