Leicester seek Champions League relief
LEICESTER City may have stumbled to a 3-0 defeat against Chelsea on Saturday, but Claudio Ranieri’s men weren’t allowing that to affect their mood as they prepare to take on FC Copenhagen in the Champions League today.
Striker Jamie Vardy, midfielder Riyad Mahrez and record signing Islam Slimani were all smiles during the session, while a cheerful-looking Ranieri kept a watchful eye on his squad.
Slimani in particular looked to be enjoying himself as he completed a drill during the session at the club’s Belvoir Drive training ground yesterday.
Less than 48 hours earlier they’d been put to the sword by Chelsea as goals from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses consigned them to their fourth league defeat of the season. Ranieri’s side have won just one of their last six outings in the league and midfielder Marc Albrighton admits they’re struggling to recreate the magic that took TENNIS ‘bad boy’ Nick Kyrgios has been banned for eight tournament weeks for his conduct at the Shanghai Masters last week, the governing body for men’s tennis (ATP) said yesterday.
“The suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist . . .” the ATP said in a statement.
The volatile 21-year-old has also been slapped with an additional $25 000 fine for “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”, which can keep him out of action until mid-January.
Tennis Australia (TA) said Kyrgios, who issued a statement yesterday to apologise for his behaviour, has agreed to seek professional help, which could see him return to court on November 7.
“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve,” TA said in a statement.
“We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”
The talented-yet-temperamental Australian was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Mischa Zverev in a secondround match in Shanghai in which Kyrgios put in a series of half-hearted serves and appeared to be walking off court before the unseeded German had returned the ball to him.
Kyrgios also clashed with a spectator before being booed off the court. He was fined $16 500 by the ATP on Thursday.
ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode described Kyrgios as a “phenomenal talent” and hoped the Australian would use his time away from the game constructively.
In his statement, Kyrgios promised to behave better when he eventually returns to the court. — Reuters them to the title last time round.
“It is not really acceptable to keep losing in this manner,’ he said after the Chelsea defeat. “We had a chat in the dressing room. We feel we need to be stronger, harder to play against and harder to beat, harder to score against. It’s not the way we are playing, it is about fight. We need to fight more. We have lost the fight from last year. We need to get that back, and get it back quickly.
The reigning Premier League champions do have reason to smile despite the loss against Chelsea, which leaves them down in 13th place, 11 points off the pace at the top already. Europe has so far provided sweet relief for the Foxes, who have won their first two Champions League group stage games and will be looking to take a huge leap towards the knockout stages with a win at the King Power stadium. They defeated Club Brugge 3-0 in their first ever Champions League outing, and then beat Porto 1-0 thanks to a first half effort last