Leicester given a break

LEICESTER. — Claudio Ranieri will give his table-topping Leicester City squad a well-deserved rest as they prepare for a three-game acid test of their English Premiership soccer title credentials next month.

While Ranieri heads back to his native Italy to see his family, he urged his players to enjoy a three-day rest before focusing on big games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Leicester climbed back to the top of the English Premier League with an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to Stoke City on Saturday and just as significantly opened up a 10-point gap on fifth place.

“It was important to be top of the League at the end of January, because February is a very difficult month for us,” said the Foxes boss after seeing his side sweep aside Stoke.

“Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City; it is unbelievable, but is also good.”

He added: “We play so many matches in the last month, and now it is important, not physically, but mentally to give them two-three days without coming in for training sessions.

“Now they stay with their families, it is much better. When they come back, we work very hard because this League is very exciting.”

Leicester went into a potentially tough encounter with just one win in their previous seven matches during which Jamie Vardy had failed to find the back of the net.

So, it was more than just a coincidence that their return to the form which established them in the top four saw Vardy rediscover his goalscoring touch. — AFP.

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