Wednesday 24 January 2018

Ranieri to miss potential coronation for lunch with his 96-year-old mother

Claudio Ranieri: 'I will be the last man in England to know the result' Photo: Getty
Claudio Ranieri: 'I will be the last man in England to know the result' Photo: Getty

Mark Ogden

Claudio Ranieri claimed he will be the "last man in England" to discover whether his Leicester City team are crowned champions this evening after revealing he will be flying back from a lunch date in Italy with his 96-year-old mother.

If Tottenham fail to end their 26-year wait for a league victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight, Leicester will be confirmed as top-flight champions for the first time in the club's history.

But although his team are on the brink of a remarkable title triumph, Ranieri admitted he will be in mid-air when Chelsea-Spurs game concludes as he will be returning from lunch with his mother, Renata.

"Tomorrow (Monday) night I am on a flight," Ranieri said. "Now I go back to Italy and I come back at the same time of the match, so I will be the last man in England to know the result.

"I want to meet my mother. She is 96 years old and I like to go to have lunch with her.

"As for the players, I don't know what they will do or if they watch the game. It is their day off. I didn't ask, so I don't know."

If Tottenham end their lengthy wait for a victory and Chelsea and extend the title race, Leicester can win the title with a victory at home to Everton on Saturday.

But after seeing former club Juventus secure the Serie A title without playing last Monday, Ranieri insists he would be happy for Leicester to achieve success the same way.

"If I have a chance to win tomorrow, it is important to win," Ranieri said. "Juventus won on Monday in Italy, so why not?

"In my mind, Tottenham will win all three matches, so I am now focused on the Everton match.

"But when I was Chelsea manager, the true derby was against Tottenham, so I know how big a game it will be.

"I only want to speak about the next match against Everton. I know all the city is blue, but we must continue to stay concentrated without something special like fireworks. We have to stay on the pitch."

Leicester must overcome Everton without midfielder Danny Drinkwater, sent off for two yellow cards at Old Trafford. The England player may yet face a further suspension if suggestions that he swore at referee Michael Oliver are confirmed by the official in his match report to the Football Association.

"It wasn't (a red card for Drinkwater) in my opinion," Ranieri said. "But I accept the referee's decision.

"Never do I speak about some incidents on the pitch. The referees have to make a very difficult game.

"I am very sad because he will miss the next game at home and I hope I will not miss him." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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