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Leicester v Tottenham: Ranieri demands strength of character in FA Cup replay

Claudio Ranieri wants Leicester City, suffering from their first shaky spell of a stellar season, to show strength of character when they host Tottenham in an FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday.

Riyad Mahrez’s missed penalty cost Leicester three points against bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday and extended the Foxes’ recent run to just one win from six matches in all competitions, with four draws and one defeat.

Ranieri’s side were forced to settle for a replay against Spurs after a late Harry Kane penalty secured a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in the third round on January 10, though Leicester did then snatch a 1-0 win in the league meeting between the two clubs three days later.

And the Italian manager hopes to see a similar response when Mauricio Pochettino’s side visit the King Power Stadium on Wednesday.

“We are disappointed and now I want us to show our strength in the next match,” Ranieri, who confirmed midfielder Matty James could make his return from a knee injury, told Foxes Player.

“I’m not so pleased because we wanted three points. All my players wanted three points. It’s okay, the league carries on and we must concentrate now for the next match in the cup.”

Spurs responded to that league defeat to Leicester with a 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland on Saturday, in which they were forced to come from a goal down at home.

Midfielder Dele Alli praised his team-mates for their performance and is keen to establish a winning run, beginning with the FA Cup clash in the Midlands.

“It was a good all-round performance and thankfully we picked ourselves up after the defeat against Leicester,” he told Tottenham’s official website.

“We did the same when we lost against Newcastle, it was important we bounced back and went on a run and we’ll look to do the same again, keep winning and go on another good run.”

Ranieri made a number of changes to his first-choice line-up for the first game against Spurs and he is expected to hand the likes of Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell another chance to impress, though he has confirmed Kasper Schmeichel will keep his place in goal. Jeffrey Schlupp (hamstring) is out until late February.

Nabil Bentaleb is still battling to regain his Spurs spot since suffering an ankle injury and Ryan Mason is struggling with a knock, but Pochettino otherwise has a full-strength side to choose from.

Spurs have a win and a draw from their two previous visits to Leicester but were knocked out of the FA Cup last season in the fourth round after suffering a 2-1 defeat to the Foxes in north London.

Mon 18 Jan, 2016
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