Apart from the surprise 4-2 win against Manchester City on Saturday, Leicester City’s recent league form has been very questionable, and all dreams of returning to the Champions League next season are fading away rapidly.
That is, of course, unless the club actually win the European trophy, but, let’s be honest, that seems highly unlikely, which is why Claudio Ranieri and his men are keen to make the most of the opportunity presented to them.
Drawn against Sevilla for the first knockout round of the competition after coming top of their group ahead of Porto, the Foxes will be pleased with the level of their opponents, even if Sevilla are playing some great football this season under Jorge Sampaoli.
Over in Spain, however, Monchi, the club’s famous director of football, has made it clear that Leicester shouldn’t be underestimated, with their poor league form actually coming as a positive ahead of the tie for the English club.
Speaking to beIN Sports, relayed by EcoDiario, Monchi said: “Leicester aren’t as good as last year in the Premier League, but this switching off in the league makes this more difficult because they’re focusing more on the Champions League.
“We’ll be playing the English champions, and a team who put four past City on Saturday. They had a great group stage and only lost to Porto 5-0, a complicated opponent as we all know.”
With still two months to go before the clash between the two sides, a lot could change in that time, but there is little doubt that Ranieri, who pulled off the unthinkable last season, will do his utmost to guide his team as far as possible in the competition this season.
And if that means sacrificing a few points in the league to get a fresh team out against Sevilla come February, few will be able to blame him if they progress to the quarter finals of the competition.