Ranieri: We’re Ready

Claudio Ranieri says Leicester City have a great respect for Premier League leaders Chelsea, but wants his side show their fighting spirit on Saturday afternoon.
- Claudio Ranieri expects a strong reaction from Chelsea after they were beaten in their last Premier League outing 

- The Foxes are ready to fight at King Power Stadium on Saturday, says the Leicester City boss 

- Ranieri believes his side are well prepared for Premier League action after three of his players departed for the Africa Cup of Nations

Claudio Ranieri says Leicester City have a great respect for Premier League leaders Chelsea, but wants his side show their fighting spirit on Saturday afternoon. 

The Foxes, in good form themselves having gone three games unbeaten in all competitions, welcome to King Power Stadium a Chelsea side that have won 11 of their last 12 fixtures. 

Antonio Conte’s men sit five points clear at the top of the table and after being thwarted by Tottenham Hotspur in their last league outing, Ranieri knows the London outfit will want to return to winning ways. 

“They started not so well but after a few matches, [Antonio] Conte understood the team and the players,” Ranieri said. “They’ve made a very good part of the season now. 

“It was an amazing achievement. They lost to Tottenham after 13 – amazing achievement. We expect a lot from them but we are ready to fight and win. 

“I expect a strong reaction from them. They are old champions and they want to make up for defeat.” 

Saturday’s fixture will see City in Premier League action for the first time since Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Daniel Amartey departed for the Africa Cup of Nations, but Ranieri says his side are well prepared for the clash with Chelsea. 

He added: “Of course we’d like all the competition in the normal time. But I understand when there are European cups or American cups, it’s difficult to play in summer. 

“When we lose our important players, it’s not good, but when all the teams lose players, it’s okay. 

“We prepared very well. In the first match without Riyad and Islam, we won in the FA Cup against Everton. Now, we have to show the same attitude and strength against Chelsea.”

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