Le­ices­ter seek to con­tinue Euro­pean stroll in Copen­hagen

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

LE­ICES­TER CITY have turned their de­but sea­son in the Cham­pi­ons League into a cake­walk and vic­tory over FC Copen­hagen to­mor­row morn­ing would seal their place in the last 16.

A nar­row win over Copen­hagen a fort­night ago made Le­ices­ter one of only five group stage debu­tants to win their first three games and should they make it four from four and Porto fail to beat Club Brugge they will se­cure top spot in Group G.

That would, in like­li­hood, spare them a clash with one of the big guns in the first knock­out round when the com­pe­ti­tion be­gins again in the new year.

How Arse­nal, Man­ches­ter City and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, Eng­land’s other three rep­re­sen­ta­tives, would like to be in that po­si­tion with two group games to spare?

Yet Le­ices­ter’s Euro­pean form has been in stark con­trast to their do­mes­tic per­for­mances as they strug­gled to ad­just to wear­ing the English cham­pi­ons’ crown.

A 1-1 draw at Tot­ten­ham at the week­end, their first away point in the Premier League this sea­son, fol­low­ing on from a home win over Crys­tal Palace has hinted at a re­turn to the kind of re­silience that took them to an historic ti­tle last sea­son.

Le­ices­ter are one of only four teams – Atletico Madrid, Ju­ven­tus and Sevilla be­ing the oth­ers – yet to con­cede a goal in the Cham­pi­ons League this sea­son al­though Copen­hagen had their chances at the King Power Sta­dium where they were beaten 1-0.

That de­feat was the only loss in 24 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions for the Dan­ish cham­pi­ons who will still feel they have a great chance of pro­gress­ing to the knock­out phase for the sec­ond time, fol­low­ing their run in 2010-11.

All the more rea­son why coach Stale Sol­bakken is an­gry that his side had to play a Dan­ish league game on Sun­day – a 3-1 vic­tory over FC Midtjyl­land.

“It’s sui­cide for Dan­ish foot­ball that we have to play a game like this on Sun­day evening,” Nor­we­gian Sol­bakken, whose side are level with Porto on four points, said.

“Our op­po­nents in Wed­nes­day’s Cham­pi­ons League group game could start pre­par­ing for the game on Satur­day.”

Le­ices­ter will be with­out mid­fielder Nam­palys Mendy (an­kle) while Is­lam Sli­mani (groin) and Ahmed Musa (knock) will be as­sessed ahead of the game in the Parken Sta­dium.

Copen­hagen will be hop­ing Federico San­tander can con­tinue a run of form that has helped him to score six goals in his last seven matches in all com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing two at the week­end. – Reuters

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