Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ranieri might not watch Tottenham on Sunday

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Mar 2016

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri remains undecided over whether he will watch Premier League title rivals Tottenham in action at Aston Villa this weekend.

Ranieri’s men have maintained their remarkable bid for glory to sit five points clear of nearest challengers Spurs, with nine matches remaining this season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side travel to bottom club Aston Villa on Sunday, aiming to cut the deficit before Leicester host similarly struggling Newcastle United on Monday.

Ranieri has previously claimed not to watch matches with a bearing on the title this season, preferring to enjoy a day off with his family at a restaurant.

He did not rule out keeping an eye on Spurs’ fortunes, but said his wife would make the final decision on his Sunday plans.

“I’ll tell you after the match, I don’t know what will happen,” the Italian said.

“Maybe I will go to the restaurant or maybe I will watch the match. I don’t know – it depends on my boss.”

Switzerland captain Gokhan Inler has been an unexpected bystander for much of Leicester’s ascent this term.

Signed before the start of the season as a replacement for influential midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, Inler has been restricted to five Premier League appearances – not featuring at all in the league since starting the goalless draw against Manchester City in December, with N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater starring in the centre of the field.

The 31-year-old spoke of his frustration with the situation this week, but Ranieri believes it is to be expected and revealed he offered Inler a way out of the King Power Stadium in January.

“It’s normal, I don’t want players happy without playing,” he added.

“He knows [why he is not playing], for this reason [the form of Leicester’s starting midfielders].

“I spoke with him before the close of the market and I explained, ‘you have very, very few chances here’.

“He told me, ‘I am a fighter, I want to continue’.  Okay, I am happy. If he wants to stay here, I am happy.”

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