Thursday 8 December 2016

Mahrez stuck in struggle to find his form

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 21/11/2016 | 02:30

Riyad Mahrez. Photo: Reuters / Darren Staples
Riyad Mahrez. Photo: Reuters / Darren Staples

Riyad Mahrez was valued at more than £50m in the summer - a price tag which scared off the big clubs when they came calling - and so the Algerian signed a new £100,000-a-week contract with Leicester.

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But this season is proving an uphill battle and his performance in Leicester's 2-1 defeat at Watford was another one to forget as the Foxes' domestic form continued to bewilder.

Mahrez will surely play in tomorrow's Champions League home game against Club Brugge, for he has saved his best performances for European competition. But he could be dropped, or rested if you prefer, for next Saturday's game against Middlesbrough to help him rediscover the spark of last season.

Mahrez was double-marked for most of the game at Vicarage Road and it is easy to forget he was playing for Le Havre in the French second division only three years ago. But his confidence has clearly been affected and he seems to epitomise Leicester's struggles in the league so far.

This defeat leaves the champions only two points above the relegation zone and Ranieri admitted he is already looking over his shoulder.

Watford were ahead after 33 seconds, through Étienne Capoue's half-volley, before the outstanding Roberto Pereyra bent in a brilliant second goal.

Leicester were thrown a lifeline by Mahrez's penalty but Watford defended resolutely to continue their impressive form at home.

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