Ranieri hails Slimani, Mahrez

LONDON • Claudio Ranieri believes Algerian duo Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez can form a deadly double act for Leicester City after the pair inspired a 3-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Slimani scored twice on his Premier League debut for the champions, while Mahrez displayed the form that saw him win Player of the Year last season.

The Foxes sealed their win after an own goal by Burnley defender Ben Mee.

Slimani and Mahrez linked up impressively with striker Jamie Vardy and Leicester manager Ranieri believes they will relish joining forces at club level.

"It's good for Slimani and good for everyone," Ranieri said. "It was a very good performance from him, as well as his team-mates.

"He linked very well with Vardy and the others and he pressed so hard during all the match. We bought him for these characteristics.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel missed out with concussion and Danny Simpson returned from injury but Ranieri otherwise named an unchanged team from the one that beat Brugge 3-0.

The Italian manager is planning changes for tomorrow's English League Cup clash with Chelsea but he believes consistency was important from Brugge to Burnley.

"I didn't want to make many changes, just the 'keeper and right-back because I wanted to keep our momentum," Ranieri said.

"It was important for us to win and 3-0 is good - now we are in the top half of the table and our focus is in the League Cup."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2016, with the headline 'Ranieri hails Slimani, Mahrez'. Print Edition | Subscribe