Leicester need better case for their defence against Porto

Claudio Ranieri wants a better reaction from City players after conceding goals



Leicester City v FC Porto

King Power Stadium, 7.45pm


TV3, BT Sport 2

It was a funny occasion at the King Power Stadium as Claudio Ranieri went from reflecting on where things are going wrong for Leicester City in defence this season to looking forward to "continuing the fairytale" in one of the most historic games in the club's history.

In the middle of it all a photograph of Emile Heskey slid off the wall as television crews jostled for position on a platform that was never built with Champions League press conferences in mind.

More interest

For a reminder of how far Leicester have come it is almost eight years ago to the day since the Midlands club, then in League One, hosted Lincoln at the same venue and won on penalties in front of a crowd of 8,046 to reach the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Section quarter finals. Porto’s visit for Leicester’s first Champions League home match has generated rather more interest.

Yet the spotlight is also shining on Leicester for another reason. The season is only six Premier League matches old but Ranieri’s side have already endured as many defeats (three) as they did in the whole of their title-winning campaign. The champions have also shipped 11 goals, which is as many as Leicester conceded between the end of December and the final game of last season.

Ranieri did not hide his disappointment with the results and Leicester’s defending. “Of course it’s a concern,” the Leicester manager said. “Last season everything was perfect. This season, no – the first chance the opponents have, they score. I’m not happy when my teams don’t react. We can concede a goal, but I want to see us react every time.

“I spoke to them [the players] and I am very sure they understood it all. Of course we can concede a goal, but I want to see my team continue to play.”

Hosting Porto offers an opportunity to rebuild confidence and, on the back of City's 3-0 win against Club Brugge a fortnight ago, take a step towards the Champions League knockout stages.

Porto will also not welcome the sight of Islam Slimani leading the line for the Foxes. Slimani, Leicester’s €33.5 million record signing, has scored five goals in his previous three matches against Porto, all of them in 2016 and the most recent coming in Sporting Lisbon’s 2-1 victory last month. Guardian Service