Ranieri expecting "another difficult game" ahead of Newcastle United visit

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri is anticipating a tough game when strugglers Newcastle United visit the King Power Stadium on Monday night.

Ranieri expecting "another difficult game" ahead of Newcastle United visit
Ranieri is predicting a tough assignment for his team against Newcastle United (Photo: Plumb Images)

Ahead of Monday evening's clash with strugglers Newcastle United in the Premier League, Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has moved to highlight the difficulty that awaits his current table-toppers.

Going into the match, the fortunes of both teams couldn't be any different. While the Foxes are sitting pretty five points clear at the top of the table, the Magpies are currently languishing in the relegation zone, one point adrift of safety.

Despite this, Ranieri has instead decided to focus on the task in-hand and insists that his team are expecting a "difficult" game against the struggling Geordies.

'We're thinking about Newcastle'

Talking ahead of the game on Monday evening to the assembled media, the former Chelsea boss was quick emphasise the immense task that Newcastle will bring to the King Power Stadium. Saying that the Foxes' latest opponents have "good players" and "fantastic fans", it's clear to see that the experienced Italian is not resting on his laurels.

This is further highlighted by the ex-Inter Milan man's refusal to get drawn into the debate about the league table. Despite the two differing situations that the two clubs find themselves in going into the match, Ranieri suggested that the focus is specifically on the game and not on any potential consequences a result could have upon the table in what he has labelled as a "crazy league".

'He is in a good condition'

Elsewhere, Ranieri also used the opportunity to give some welcome team news to supporters ahead the match on Monday evening. After Riyad Mahrez pulled up with a suspected hamstring injury in the East-Midlander's 1-0 win over Watford last weekend, fans will be delighted to know that the Algerian is in a "good condition" so will not miss any football in the immediate future.

Also, the 64-year-old even gave an update on the fitness of Matty James. After suffering a cruciate ligament injury in May 2015, the midfielder looks to be closing in on full fitness again and his manager has said that the former Manchester United trainee has trained "very well" - news that will delight the Foxes faithful.

Ranieri is looking forward to the return of Matty James following long-term injury | Photo: Getty
Ranieri is looking forward to the return of Matty James following long-term injury | Photo: Getty

Finally, Ranieri also went out of his way to highlight the positive return of Jeffrey Schlupp from injury. Labelling him as "fantastic", the Italian continued by saying that the versatile Ghanaian is "very important" to the Foxes and that they "need him" for the upcoming match on Monday night.