Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho tips resurgent Leicester to escape Premier League drop

By Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho expects Leicester to avoid relegation from the Premier League and is taking nothing for granted as his title-chasing side go to the King Power Stadium tonight.

Win at Leicester and Chelsea, who are 10 points clear of Manchester City and Arsenal, can claim the title on Sunday with victory at home to Crystal Palace.

The Foxes will not roll over, though, having won four in a row to climb out of the relegation zone.

"I was surprised with their bad position," Mourinho said.

"For me they are a good team, good players. I played them very early in the season at Stamford Bridge (winning 2-0 in August).

"I could immediately feel the quality of the team.

"I was surprised that they were in a bad position. I'm not surprised they are out of the relegation zone. I will not be surprised when they stay in the division."

Tonight's match was rescheduled after Chelsea reached the Capital One Cup final on March 1 and the game in hand is valuable for both sides.

"They are playing well, their results are coming," Mourinho added. "Their situation is very good. For the quality of their team, I think they are going to survive."

One player stands out for Mourinho - Argentinian Esteban Cambiasso.

"I won the treble with Cambiasso (at Inter Milan in 2010)," the Portuguese added.

"He was fundamental in my golden team. He's one of the players who means a lot to me, and he's been phenomenal for them. I'm very happy for him."

Meanwhile, Foxes boss Nigel Pearson has warned his side they have achieved nothing yet despite having climbed out of the relegation zone.

Leicester's four successive victories have included Saturday's 1-0 triumph at Burnley, lifting them out of the drop zone for the first time since November.

And Pearson insisted the Foxes cannot take their position for granted as they need to be out of the bottom three in May.

He said: "It's to be out of them after the last game of the season which is going to be the most important thing. For me it makes no difference whatsoever (being out now).

"The players have to remain focused and that's something we have to continue to work hard at.

"I'm not trying to play it down because at this stage and with the situation we are in it's very positive to talk about four wins on the trot.

"But we talked about getting to the last four or fives games of the season in contention - and we are.

"If we can go to the last game with our fate in our own hands that will be something which maybe a couple of months ago you hoped for but it was not as realistic as it is now."

  • Premier League: King Power Stadium, 7.45pm

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