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Leicester still not favourites: Ranieri

Soccer

Claudio Ranieri denied his Leicester City side are the Premier League title favourites on Thursday and said he has set no points target for the final nine games.

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With 60 points, five more than second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and eight clear of third-placed Arsenal, Leicester are closing in on astonishing first English top flight title.

Leicester play struggling Newcastle United on Monday and could move 11 points above Arsenal, who are in FA Cup action this weekend. Tottenham are at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Ranieri, however, says those two clubs are still favourites.

“We are the same, for me the favourites are the others, of course,” he told a news conference.

“We have to fight then just at the end of the season we can say ‘we have achieved this’.

“The league this year is crazy. We are fighting because it’s a crazy league and anything could happen. Now we aren’t thinking about how many points, we’re thinking about Newcastle.”

Ranieri said playmaker Riyad Mahrez had recovered from a knock and will be fit to face Newcastle, a further boost to their hopes of increasing the pressure on the chasing pack.

“Riyad is good,” Ranieri said. “He has trained all week and he is okay. It was just a little cramp. Everyone is in good condition.”

Reuters

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