Leicester caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare has called on his players to make a mockery of their underdog status once again and pull off a major Champions League shock on Tuesday night.
Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win in the first leg of this quarter-final tie has seen them installed as hot favourites to progress but Shakespeare believes his team can embarrass the bookmakers, as they did when defying their 5,000/1 odds to win the Premier League last season.
“They have got it wrong in the past and let’s hope they’ve got it wrong again,” said Shakespeare.
“We know we start as underdogs because of the history of Madrid but we are comfortable with that. We know what we have to do and let’s hope we earn people a few bob.”
Leicester will be without suspended defensive stalwart Robert Huth as they look to oust an Atletico side that has reached the final twice in three years, but Shakespeare hopes to be able to recall the German’s regular partner, captain Wes Morgan, who missed the first leg with injury.
“He has trained the last three training sessions in which the intensity has been greater every one,” he added.
“I am pleased with how he has progressed. I would like to find out from the player how his thoughts are. But my eyes tell me this morning we both should be fairly pleased how he has come through.”
Shakespeare insisted Leicester should ignore any gamesmanship from the Atletico dugout, after a member of the Foxes’ staff was sent off during last week’s match when the hosts complained that he was distributing drinks.
“We can’t worry about the opposition’s bench; we’ll let the officials take care of that,” he said.
“We have to be mindful in terms of us being smart and our game management has to be good. We have to be aware of all those things. Ultimately we have to get our own house in order.
“We will focus on ourselves but be aware of Atletico. We know what we have to do and we can’t sit back for 90 minutes because we need to score. There are different ways and, come the game, we’ll find out if we’ve found a solution.”