EPL form a worry for Leicester


November 22, 2016
File Ranieri

LEICESTER, England (AP):

Champions one season. Relegated the next. It has only ever happened to one team in the highest division of English football Manchester City in 1937-38 so Leicester are trying to avoid an unwanted piece of history this season.

At the start of a week when the team from central England could clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, it is Leicester's form in the English Premier League (EPL) that is possibly the biggest talking point.

A 3-1 loss to Watford on Saturday left Leicester in 14th place in the 20-team league and just two points above the bottom three. No one foresaw Claudio Ranieri's team winning the Premier League last season the pre-season odds on that happening were 5,000-1 but their rapid fall from grace is taking many by surprise, too.

"The relegation is very close to us and we have to react," Ranieri said after the loss to Watford. "I expected difficulties, but not so strong."

Yesterday, Ranieri dismissed a suggestion that his players have been distracted by competing in the Champions League.

"I don't think it's a distraction, it's enjoyment," Ranieri said at a news conference ahead of the home match against Club Brugge today. "I don't see the difference."

Yet, in five Premier League matches played the weekend before a Champions League game, Leicester have collected just one point. Leicester have already lost six games in the league, which is double the number of losses from last season's title-winning campaign.

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