Ranieri: Leicester are in relegation battle

Claudio Ranieri said that his Leicester City team and the fans must open their eyes to the fact that the club is in the middle of a relegation battle.

“It is not a fairytale anymore for us," Ranieri told Rai Sport. "We must avoid relegation, whereas [Chelsea manager Antonio] Conte has the chance to fight for the title and I really wish him to do so."

Defending champions Leicester, who are 15th in the table, play Chelsea at the weekend.

“We must achieve safety, which is different from them," Ranieri said, with his side just six points above the drop zone.

“Our project is to try and grow and slowly, slowly try to reach the heights," he said, with memories of last season when at this stage Leicester were second after 20 games, one point behind Arsenal.

“We must forget about what happened last season when we were really good and made the most of a poor season for the top teams in the Premier League."

“And we were magnificent in giving our 120 percent.”

Sunday morning's clash also sees a huge reversal for Chelsea from last year. At this stage they were 14th on just 23 points, compared with this season's 49.

They go into the game against the Foxes with a five-point lead at the top of the table.