European mentality can spur Leicester's domestic revival, says Ranieri

Author

30 October, 2016

The Foxes are participating in their first UEFA Champions League campaign, and have impressed thus far, boasting a flawless record of three wins from three games in Group G to top the table.

Leicester made it three wins from three in their debut Champions League season as they beat FC Copenhagen in midweek, and Ranieri expects Palace to pose similar problems at the King Power.

But, domestically, the reigning league champions are battling in 13th with just two wins from their opening eight matches.

Leicester are now assured of at least a place in the Europa League and they can seal a place in the Champions League last 16 if they win the return fixture in Copenhagen on Nov 2.

All three players are nursing knocks following the Champions League victory against Copenhagen on Tuesday night but Ranieri thinks they should all be available. That is normal but we want to change it.

Leicester's decision to prioritize the Champions League over the Premier League is being vindicated.

It was a performance in keeping with Leicester's 5,000-1 league title success last season, with Copenhagen seeing 54 percent of possession and registering four shots on target to the hosts' two.

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Riyad Mahrez's 40th minute strike was enough to seal a third consecutive victory at the start of their Champions League campaign, as this triumph over Danish opponents followed up wins against FC Porto and Club Brugge.

But Simpson remained confident they can compete on both fronts, with the Foxes on the brink of reaching the Champions League second round. "Our goal is to change our concentration in the Premier League".

"At 35 I said, "At 50 I finish".

Former England striker Alan Shearer accused Jamie Vardy on Monday of "sulking" and a "lack of effort" in the defeat at Stamford Bridge, but Ranieri insisted he gave his striker, who has not scored for club and country in eight games, instructions to stay with Chelsea defender David Luiz.

He said the problem was "psychological" and the Premier League his priority.

However, it was a brilliant late save by Kasper Schmeichel that denied his compatriots a late equaliser and ensured a third successive clean sheet to go with the flawless points haul. After more of less sticking with the same starting XI for the majority of last season, Ranieri has lived up to his old nickname by "tinkering" with his squad at the weekend to preserve them for European excursions.

Though Ranieri remains critical of how Leicester appear to only switch on during European competition, the Italian says he understands how distracting playing on such a huge platform for the first time can be.


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