Belfast Telegraph

Leicester's Ranieri out to frighten big guns

By Staff Reporter

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri wants to be the "crazy man" who frightens the Premier League elite. The Foxes have shocked everybody this season, transforming themselves from relegation strugglers 12 months ago to serious title contenders under the Italian.

Ranieri's side are level on points with league leaders Arsenal - seven points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United - and the ex-Chelsea boss is revelling in Leicester's role as the gatecrasher.

"Now it is a crazy league and we want to frighten this crazy league," said Ranieri, whose team host Tottenham in an FA Cup third round replay tonight.

"I want to be the most crazy man and team in the Premier League.

"It is a crazy league because if it was a normal league Leicester would not be at the top. The other bigger teams would be there, but there is an opportunity for us.

"The big teams haven't switched on turbo yet - and we hope they don't."

Despite the seven-point cushion for Champions League qualification and the nine-point gap to the final European qualification place, Ranieri still remains guarded about the possibility.

He said: "I know what you want me to say. I would like to let the fans dream, but it is January. Wait a little longer."

Meanwhile, Matty James may make his long-awaited return to the Leicester squad tonight.

The midfielder has been out for eight months with a serious knee injury but could be on the bench.

"He could be on the bench in the next match," said Ranieri. "He is young, strong, with a good personality, good skill, good vision. He can help the squad."

Belfast Telegraph


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