Revival Ailing champions Leicester face must-win West Ham clash

  • Published: , Refreshed:

The defending champions have lost nine of their 18 league games so far, leading to fears of a battle for survival just a year after they swept to the most unlikely title in Premier League history

24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!
Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri, pictured on November 22, 2016, says, "West Ham is a must-win game" play

Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri, pictured on November 22, 2016, says, "West Ham is a must-win game"

(AFP/File)

Claudio Ranieri admits victory is a must for Leicester City against West Ham United on Saturday, and the Italian is ready to turn to his struggling big guns in his moment of need.

Ranieri is set to recall Riyad Mahrez after dropping the Algerian star for the Boxing Day defeat to Everton.

Danny Drinkwater is expected to make his first Premier League start since November 22 after a three-match suspension and then a knee injury halted his campaign.

The pair will return with leading striker Jamie Vardy still suspended for a game Ranieri believes is pivotal to his side's prospects of avoiding a relegation battle.

The defending champions have lost nine of their 18 league games so far, leading to fears of a battle for survival just a year after they swept to the most unlikely title in Premier League history.

"West Ham is a must-win game," said Ranieri, whose side reach the halfway stage of their season against the Hammers.

"We have to get to 'the turn' at 20 points -- now we have 17. We have to win.

"We are unhappy. No-one is happy, but everyone -- the chairman me, players, sporting director -- we have to react as soon as possible and be a strong dressing room and show all the good things on the pitch.

"The match versus Everton was very even then they scored twice.

"It was unbelievable but that's football. Must concentrate, because when we concentrate we can show fantastic football."

'I want to see a reaction'

Mahrez is set to return after a public rebuke from Ranieri in the wake of the Everton defeat, in which he figured as a second-half substitute.

Leicester City's midfielder Riyad Mahrez is set to return against West Ham United play

Leicester City's midfielder Riyad Mahrez is set to return against West Ham United

(AFP/File)

Ranieri claimed after that game the Algerian was left out to 'stimulate' him after below-par displays in training and, while he backtracked on his criticism ahead of the West Ham game, the manager admitted he wants more from the reigning Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) player of the year.

"I hope he has reacted well," said Ranieri. "I watched him during training last week and he was a little tired.

"I decided to give him a rest. He will play the next match and I want to see a reaction.

"Drinkwater could be ready to start. He played 45 minutes against Everton and has worked well."

In contrast to Leicester, West Ham will arrive at the King Power Stadium in excellent spirits after three straight victories and could well be able to name an unchanged line-up.

"I want to build on the performance, especially the recent one against Swansea, that was really, really good and not to lose confidence," said manager Slaven Bilic.

"We've had 10 points from four games and we know it will be extremely hard against Leicester. We are in good form and we are very positive. We have to do everything we can continue this.

"We can only continue to put the shift in, even more every time.

"The confidence is back and fitness is back and you don't want it to stop.

"But you know it won't last forever. You never know in the Premier League, you know you are facing good teams but you have to continue to play like this."

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos




Top Articles

1 Adorable Here's a first photo you'll see of Gyan and wifebullet
2 Private Road Sheyi Adebayor completes road project leading to his...bullet
3 Video Adebayor celebrates construction of private road in Togobullet
4 Breaking News George Afriyie sacked as GFA Vice Presidentbullet
5 Black Stars Huddersfied striker Collin Quaner chooses to play...bullet
6 Sad News Ex-Kotoko & Ghana U20 star dies after collapsing in...bullet
7 GFA President Stop being Issa Hayatou and move on, Sefa Kayi...bullet
8 Bayern Munich Defender We will beat Real Madrid for our...bullet
9 UEFA Champions League Head to head: Bayern Munich vs...bullet
10 UEFA Champions League Real Madrid trio touch down in...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Watch Frank Acheampong 5th goal of the season for Chinese outfitbullet
2 Video Watch how Kotoko defeated Dwarfs 2-1bullet
3 Long Shot Michael Essien's favourite goal for Chelseabullet
4 The Real News with Akrobeto goes International, shows on Real...bullet
5 New Club Gideon Baah's interview after completing move to FC Kairatbullet
6 Video Veteran striker Eric Gawu scores powerful header against...bullet
7 Video Watch how Hearts thrashed Kotoko eaxctly 18 years todaybullet
8 Video This is how Aduana Stars were humiliated in Algeriabullet
9 Chelsea Fans' Favourite Michael Essien's left-footed...bullet
10 Didier Drogba Chelsea legend jams to Stonebwoy and...bullet

Football