Leicester will rebound against City: Simpson
PREMIER League leaders Leicester City (before last night's round of Premier League games) have the character and spirit to put Saturday's loss to Liverpool behind them as they face third-placed Manchester City today, defender Danny Simpson has said.
The Foxes were beaten 1-0 at Anfield to record only their second loss of this season that snapped their unbeaten 10-game run in the league.
"It was tough but it has been a tough few weeks," Simpson told the club website.
"We know we will pick ourselves up. We are an honest bunch, we will look at it and we will react in the right way against Manchester City.
"It is a setback but we will bounce back. We have got a great team with great characters and great spirit. We have got (Manchester) City at home now and with our fans, we will get straight at them."
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has also asked his players to "clear their minds" after the Liverpool loss and take the positives from the game.
"It was a good lesson," he told the club website. "We showed good shape, we defended well and closed the space well but we need to improve when we want to go straight away and score the goal."
Ranieri may have to field a team today without Leicester's top scorer Jamie Vardy.
The English striker played at Liverpool last Saturday despite feeling unwell and had to be substituted before the end of the game. He looked ill as he left Anfield following Leicester's 1-0 defeat.
"I have to look at Jamie Vardy and see if his reaction is good or not because he played with a fever," said Ranieri.
But Ranieri said his players will be ready for today's match and urged them to reboot after the defeat at Anfield.
City have their own problems as captain Vincent Kompany faces another spell out of action after aggravating a calf injury just eight minutes into his comeback on Saturday.
The Belgium centre-back had missed eight successive matches with the problem before returning as a substitute after 62 minutes during City's 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland at Eastlands.
However, he was forced to leave the pitch soon afterwards, leaving manager Manuel Pellegrini with a significant defensive problem ahead of the trip to title rivals Leicester.
"Vincent is not the best news. He was ready to return but I did not want him to play the whole game," Pellegrini said. "He worked the whole week with normality. We will see what the doctor says but it is the same injury to the same calf."
City have not kept a clean sheet all season when Kompany has been missing and his absence causes significant concern for Pellegrini.
The manager has to continue relying on his other, so far unconvincing, central defensive options.
Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala appeared vulnerable during the defeat away by Arsenal a week before while Martin Demichelis offers a limited alternative.
Pellegrini acknowledged, though, it is now the responsibility of these three players to eradicate the mistakes that have threatened to undermine the club's title challenge.
"Vincent is very important because, first of all, he is captain," Pellegrini said. "He is captain because he has a lot of important things to give - his performance, his personality.
"We cannot think all the mistakes are just because Vincent isn't playing. He's very important but that doesn't mean without him we cannot win."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE