Belfast Telegraph

Vardy and Mahrez as dangerous as Chelsea superstars, insists Luis

By Rik Sharma

Filipe Luis hailed Leicester City stars Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez ahead of the Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, comparing them to Chelsea duo Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.

The Brazilian left-back is expecting a tough evening at the Vicente Calderon tomorrow night in the first leg of the quarter-final, insisting Atletico have to be on red alert against the players that fired the Foxes to the Premier League title last season.

Leicester saw off Sevilla in the last 16 and visit the Spanish capital looking for away goals to take back to the King Power Stadium next week.

“Vardy is a number nine so he will play up against Diego Godin (more than me). He reminds me of Diego Costa. He goes for every single ball. He tries to win the long balls and he also tries to go into the spaces between the lines,” explained Luis.

“He is also good in the air. We have to be really focused on defence in this game because they are really dangerous.

“One of the best players I have ever played against and with is Eden Hazard. When I played with him at Chelsea he was brilliant. But last year I saw Mahrez doing something similar to what Hazard did. If he wants he can be the new Hazard. So it’s going to be a big challenge for me.”

Asked where last season’s PFA Player of the Year Mahrez ranks among the players he has faced, including Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi, Luis said the Algerian was one of the best wingers in the world.

“He is brilliant. He is a player who is capable of anything,” said the 31-year-old. “One against one he is very good, he is very fast and he can also dribble with his right foot, he can cross and he can shoot with his left so it’s really difficult to play against him.”

In tonight’s quarter-finals, Juventus meet Barcelona in Turin in a repeat of the 2015 Champions League final.

Barca were 3-1 winners in Berlin that day but seem to have lost their aura somewhat as they prepare for a reunion with Italy’s strongest club side in the last eight of this year’s edition.

And Borussia Dortmund take on French leaders Monaco at Signal Iduna Park. The principality side, who are three points clear at the top of Ligue 1, became the first team to progress in a Champions League knockout tie after conceding six goals following the thrilling 6-6 away-goal win against City.

Belfast Telegraph


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