Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ranieri: Copenhagen clashes will decide our Champions League fate

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 17 Oct 2016


Claudio Ranieri expects his Leicester City players to produce their best performances for the two crucial Champions League clashes against Copenhagen.

The Premier League champions host Copenhagen on Tuesday, before travelling to Denmark for the return game on November 2.

Ranieri is aware those matches will be crucial in deciding Leicester’s chances of progression in the competition and wants his team fully focused.

Leicester go into the game struggling in the league – they have eight points from as many matches to kick-off 2016-17 – but their two Champions League wins over Club Brugge and Porto have them top of Group G on six points, two clear of second-placed Copenhagen.

“The next two matches [in the Champions League] are very important and will tell us what we can do,” manager Ranieri said at his pre-match media conference.

“We must do the best performance of the season. It’s very important for us to get three points.

“We have had normal words, normal training. Just recharged, clean the mind and think about the next match.”

Leicester, who have now lost four straight away matches in the league after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea, failed to register a shot on target at Stamford Bridge as Riyad Mahrez, Danny Simpson and Islam Slimani were all rested with the Copenhagen clash in mind.

Ranieri insisted he had no regrets about rotating his team immediately after the match and has stressed his players are not machines ahead of their next continental test.

He continued: “My players made the world crazy with what happened last season, it was a fantastic spirit, a fairy-tale. 

“I want them to show their strength, their love of football, of the team, for Leicester and for this reason I want more. 

“It is normal when you first play in Europe that the team loses something – they are human, not machines.”



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