Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri makes no apologies for prioritising Champions League

Ross McLean
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Ranieri opted to rest key players during his side's 3-0 loss at Chelsea on Saturday (Source: Getty)

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has defended his decision to prioritise the Champions League and rest key players for Saturday’s demolition at Chelsea with Tuesday's tussle with FC Copenhagen in mind.

Ranieri chose to start reigning PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez and £30m record signing Islam Slimani on the bench as the Premier League champions suffered a 3-0 reverse at the weekend – their fourth consecutive top-flight away defeat.

“In this moment the Champions League is our priority,” said Ranieri.

“Of course we must be safe at the end of the year in the Premier League but the Champions League is now. We are in or out this month. So it is right that I want to preserve players for this match.”

Leicester top Group G and a win against FC Copenhagen at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday would take the Foxes to the brink of the Champions League knockout stages.