Ranieri plans to rotate tired Leicester stars
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