Leicester V Middlesbrough at The King Power Stadium : Match Preview

By
25 November 2016
Leicester V Middlesbrough - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater to start ban against Middlesbrough

Danny Drinkwater starts his three-game ban for Leicester against Middlesbrough after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

The England midfielder was punished by the FA after elbowing Valon Behrami, something which was missed by referee Neil Swarbrick at the time, during the Foxes' 2-1 defeat at Watford last week.

Kasper Schmeichel is also out with a fractured hand and while Nampalys Mendy and Ben Chilwell (both ankle) have returned to training they are not yet fit for the champions.

Record B#30million signing Islam Slimani is expected to return after a groin injury and Leonardo Ulloa has shrugged off a back problem.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri admits he must sound his alarm bell again to wake the champions up from their Premier League slumber.

The Foxes boss knows they cannot afford to slip into relegation trouble just six months after winning the league.

Ranieri uses the phrase 'dilly ding, dilly dong' to keep his players focused in training and bought the Foxes squad small bells for Christmas last year during their shock title-winning campaign.

But now with the champions just two points above the bottom three ahead of Saturday's visit of Middlesbrough the Italian said he now needs a bigger bell - like the one at the Vatican - to help his side.

He said: "Sometimes I say 'dilly ding, dilly dong'. I have to get not a little bell, I have to ring a big bell - St Peter's bell I have to ring! Or Big Ben - we will all go to London!

"Look, I have to look at everything. Last season I always looked behind me and for this reason I always said '40 points, 40 points, 40 points' and I started this season saying '40 points'.

"A lot of people were laughing but I knew what could happen. It is normal what happened this year with Leicester. Now we have to react and focus on the Premier League."

Middlesbrough will once again be without defender George Friend.

Friend picked up a knee injury in training prior to Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea and is expected to be ruled out for around four weeks.

Brazilian full-back Fabio is set to keep his place in Friend's absence while Dani Ayala is still absent with an ankle injury.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has warned his players to ignore Leicester's lowly position as they look to return to winning ways at the King Power Stadium.

Karanka said: "Leicester are not in a good moment in the league but they are qualified in the Champions League, and to play in the places they have played in, in the Champions League, is not easy.

"They won the league last year and they are example of togetherness and why it is important to play as a team if you want to achieve important things.

"For example, Tottenham have not qualified (for the knockout stages) and Leicester have qualified, so they are having a good season. They are not in the position they expected to be in the league but they have a very good, experienced manager and it will be a tough game for us."


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