Ranieri plans to ro­tate tired Leicester stars

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

CLAU­DIO RANIERI has promised to re­think the way he jug­gles the de­mands of com­pet­ing in the Pre­mier League and Cham­pi­ons League after Leicester were held to a lethar­gic 0-0 draw by Southamp­ton.

Ranieri’s side have been un­able to re­pro­duce the re­lent­less workrate that car­ried them to their fairy­tale ti­tle tri­umph last sea­son and they lie 10 points be­hind lead­ers Manch­ester City fol­low­ing Sun­day’s stale­mate at the King Power Sta­dium.

Leicester had been perky enough dur­ing their mid­week Cham­pi­ons League suc­cess against Porto, but five days later they were much less vi­brant as Southamp­ton dom­i­nated for long pe­ri­ods and should have taken all three points.

Ranieri has time to work on a so­lu­tion dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break and he con­ceded it might be wise to rest more play­ers fol­low­ing Euro­pean matches after mak­ing only one change against the Saints at the end of a fran­tic pe­riod of seven matches in 22 days. “I recog­nise they played bet­ter than us and de­served to win,” Ranieri said. (Kasper) Sch­me­ichel made two or three great saves and they hit the post. “For us it is ok, one point and a clean-sheet. Now I have to think about when we play ev­ery three days. “Maybe it was much bet­ter to give some rest to some play­ers. I changed just one player. It is not enough.“After many of Ranieri’s squad head off to play for their coun­tries over the next two weeks, the Ital- ian will face an im­me­di­ate test of his ro­ta­tion plan when Leicester re­turn to ac­tion.

They have a busy week fea­tur­ing a trip to Chelsea, a Euro­pean clash with Copen­hagen and fin­ish­ing at home to Crys­tal Palace.

Southamp­ton eas­ily sub­dued Leicester for­wards Jamie Vardy and Is­lam Sli­mani and had no prob­lems tak­ing con­trol in mid­field ei­ther.

After a slow start un­der new French coach Claude Puel, Southamp­ton are now un­beaten in their last six matches in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Even more im­pres­sive is their record of six clean-sheets dur­ing that run, but it was Southamp­ton’s fail­ure to take a host of chances that would have killed off Leicester that Puel was chew­ing on as he headed back to the south­coast.

“It’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to play against Leicester with their press­ing and long balls,” Puel said.

“It’s easy to see Char­lie (Austin) had some chances. If we had fin­ished our chances we would have taken the three points, but it is im­por­tant to stay with the good feel­ing from this per­for­mance.” – AFP

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