Sturr’s no wide boy
EUROPE’S football giants have been warned they write off Leicester at their peril ahead of today’s Champions League draw.
The Premier League winners will discover which of Europe’s elite they will go head-to-head with for the first time.
They are in Pot One after the previous rule of top seeds being decided by coefficients was scrapped.
Those slots now go to the champions from Europe’s seven leading associations – England, Spain, GROUP STAGE Sept 13–14: Matchday 1 Sept 27–28: Matchday 2 Oct 18–19: Matchday 3 Nov 1–2: Matchday 4 Nov 22–23: Matchday 5 Dec 6–7: Matchday 6 Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia – along with the previous season’s winner, Real Madrid. Foxes legend and club ambassador Alan Birchenall admits it is another dream come true after last season’s fairy tale. But he has warned that City are not just in it for the ride. He said: “It’s like Christmas. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 71 like me or seven, for all Foxes fans it’s so exciting waiting to see what presents arrive. “To be in the Champions League makes it a dream 12 months – it’s just LAST 16 Feb 14–15 and Feb 21–22: First legs Mar 7–8 and 14–15: Second legs QUARTER-FINALS Apri 11–12: First legs another step on this incredible journey.
“It’s like the Premier League. There are no easy games. We will take each game as it comes and play with no fear. It’s the only way we know.
“The big boys are all expected to do well, so the pressure is all on them. This time last year no one expected what would happen, you just never know!
“Anyone who underestimates us will be in for a big shock.”
Birchenall (left) is looking forward to the Champions League theme tune ringing out at the King Power Stadium next month for the first time. “To have it played out in Leicester will be something special,” he sa id. Apr 18–19: Second legs SEMI-FINALS May 2–3: First legs May 9–10: Second legs FINAL June 3 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, right) FROM BACK PAGE I have got to do a job. It’s a team game. If I am put in that position, I have to play there.
“When you play in a position you are not used to, it is different – the way you move, the way you play. You can’t play the same as you do as a centre forward.”
He revealed that manager Klopp has not explained the idea behind using him on the right of the forward line, a position he looked unhappy in during the painful 2-0 defeat at Burnley.
Klopp prefers Roberto Firmino down the middle and Sturridge added: “Of course it is more difficult for me to play wide. I’m a centre forward. In the modern-day game, you have to try and be flexible but everyone knows my best position.
“I play on instinct and, in the middle, I have clarity on movements and things that I have been doing for years. I am on autopilot there.
“But when you are out wide, you have got to worry about different things. It’s just a different way.”
Sturridge was benched at Burton after his display against Burnley, with Divock Origi impressing as his replacement.
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HITTING FORM Origi scored in win at Burnley