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Leicester aim to bounce back against Manchester City

28 December 2015, 16:59

Leicester - Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton reckons the Premier League leaders can bounce back after defeat to Liverpool against title rivals Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

While Leicester's 15-goal top scorer Jamie Vardy is expected to be fully fit after a virus City will be without injured captain Vincent Kompany.

Albrighton has warned City that Leicester are not about to implode after suffering only their second defeat of the season on Boxing Day.

"We see this as a test," the winger said on Monday.

"There will probably be a lot of pundits and media that might think now we are going to lie down and relax with our 30-something points.

"We're not a side to do that. We've got Manchester City on Tuesday and we look forward to bouncing back against them.

"We've got ourselves in a brilliant situation and we are doing fantastic. Everyone was tipping us to be down there at the start of the season, but we're right in the mix and we deserve to be where we are."

Vardy's understanding with Algeria playmaker Riyad Mahrez has been crucial to the Foxes' success this season - between them, they have scored 29 of Leicester's 37 goals.

The fact that neither of them looked fully fit against Liverpool will be of concern to manager Claudio Ranieri ahead of another key fixture.

"Mahrez was very, very tired," said Ranieri.

"The spirit in the camp now is not so good, but that is a good thing, because the players always want to try to win.

"Now we have to clean our minds and think towards the next match. It will be another big test, but we are ready."

Ranieri is unlikely to make significant changes, as long as Vardy and Mahrez are both declared fit, and will look for his side to show the stamina he talked so positively about in the lead-up to the Christmas fixtures.

Kompany meanwhile was making his first appearance for seven weeks when he entered the field as a second-half substitute during City's 4-1 win over Sunderland on Friday, but lasted only nine minutes before hobbling off again.

The bad news for manager Manuel Pellegrini is that the central defender has suffered a recurrence of the calf injury that has troubled him for much of the season, and the fear is that he will be out for several weeks.

"Vincent's injury is not the best news," Pellegrini said. "He was ready to return against Sunderland, but I did not want him to play the whole game.

"He worked through the whole week normally, but now we must wait to see what the doctor says. It is the same injury, to the same calf."

Kompany's importance to City's defence is difficult to overstate; he has started eight of his team's 18 Premier League matches this season, during which they have conceded just once.

By contrast, they have let in 19 league goals when the Belgium international has not been on the field.

In his absence, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala must try to look more convincing than they have for much of the season, as Pellegrini's team seek a first away league victory since September 12.

It is perhaps a sign of how open this season's Premier League is that a team can go more than three months without winning away from home and still be in title contention.

City were helped by the fact that, as they were beating Sunderland, Leicester were slipping to a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool, and that Arsenal were thumped 4-0 at Southampton later in the day.

To capitalise on that good fortune, Pellegrini may decide to restore Sergio Aguero to the starting line-up, having rested the striker on Boxing Day following his recent return from a heel injury.

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WRAP: English Premiership

23 October 2016, 09:33

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