Give Kante a hero's welcome: Ranieri

LONDON • Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri hopes N'Golo Kante will get a warm reception today as the midfielder returns to the King Power Stadium with Chelsea.

The Frenchman quit Leicester for Chelsea in a £32million (S$57 million) deal in the close season.

Today, he will return to the scene of his exploits when the two sides clash in the third round of the English League Cup.

"I am very happy and I will give him a very warm welcome and I am sure our fans (will) too," said Ranieri. "They must appreciate what he did last season and give him a warm welcome.

"He was very important for us and I think he was even more important for us than at Chelsea because Chelsea have so many big players."

Ranieri faces Chelsea having been a manager at Stamford Bridge between 2000 and 2004 and also coached current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte while the pair were in Italy.

The Leicester manager said: "(Conte) is a winner, but of course he needs time. The reality here is different than in Italy and his job is bigger now. But I think he can lift some trophies."

For Leicester, Kasper Schmeichel will sit out again as he recovers from the concussion he suffered in training on Friday which saw him miss Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley.

Ron-Robert Zieler will start in goal but Matty James and Nampalys Mendy (both ankle) are not yet fit.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to rest first-team players for their League Cup clash against second-tier Derby County today.

"We will field a strong line-up. We won't rest 100 per cent fit players," said Klopp, who led his side to the League Cup final last season.

Liverpool will welcome back Roberto Firmino, who missed Friday's 2-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea with a groin problem.

But there is still no place for Mamadou Sakho, who has not featured for Liverpool this season due to an Achilles injury.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline 'Give Kante a hero's welcome: Ranieri'. Print Edition | Subscribe