Sturr’s no wide boy

Daily Mirror - - FOOTBALL SPY - BY BREN­DAN McLOUGH­LIN

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.

Cole­man hit out over Ram­sey in­jury

SEE­ING RED

HIT­TING FORM Origi scored in win at Burn­ley

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