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Leicester are five points clear.

Leicester City players are rated individually by their manager Claudio Ranieri

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Claudio Ranieri has rated the players that have been influential in Leicester City’s incredible title challenge this season.

The Foxes are currently five points clear of north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal ahead of their huge clash against the Gunners on Sunday.

Leicester's latest win, an incredible 3-1 victory away to Manchester City, saw them become favourites to lift the Premier League title in May with just 13 matches remaining.

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Ranieri took over the club in the summer and there were many experts tipping the Italian manager to lead the club to relegation.

But thanks to numerous players having outstanding seasons, they look down on the rest of the teams from the top of the table.

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Riyad Mahrez was signed from Le Havre for just £350,000 in January 2014 and has scored 14 goals, assisting 11 in the Premier League while striker Jamie Vardy, who was signed from Fleetwood Town for £1 million, and has notched an impressive 18 goals this campaign in the league.

Mahrez and Vardy may have stolen the headlines this season but there is much more to Leicester than these two players.

The centre-back pairing of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth have been outstanding and there’s not a central-midfielde pairing in world football that have the energy of Danny Drinkwater and N’golo Kante.

Ranieri spoke to Corriere dello Sport about the nine players that have all played an influential role in their unbelievable season so far:

GOALKEEPER: KASPER SCHMEICHEL

“He has a big personality, he is a very consistent keeper, very agile, he gives security to the team.

“He has incredible feet, he plays the ball 50 metres as if he was a playmaker. Because of this the defenders play the ball to him too, knowing they can trust him with the ball as if he was a normal player. He is a modern keeper.”

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CENTRAL DEFENDER: ROBERT HUTH

“He made his debut with Chelsea when he was a boy in the youth team. He is a typical English player – strong physically, a good header of the ball and everyone noticed at Manchester. He is very solid”

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CENTRAL DEFENDER: WES MORGAN

“He is captain of the Jamaica side and another player with a lot of experience with scarey physical power. From last season to now, he has never stopped.”

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LEFT-BACK: CHRISTIAN FUCHS

“Could he play in a big team in Serie A? For now I am keeping him with me. He is a full-back who pushes forward a lot, with a fantastic left foot, and is very diligent in his defensive work.”

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CENTRAL MIDFIELD: N’GOLO KANTE

“It will not surprise me the day he crosses the ball from flank and gets into the penalty area to get in a header. He is someone who knows where the ball will go, knows where the opposition will move, knows everything first.

"We took him from Caen because in the five biggest leagues in Europe, he was in first place for the number of balls won. This year the same."

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CENTRAL MIDFIELD: DANNY DRINKWATER

“One of the classic English midfielders, who they call: 'box-to-box'. He has dynamism, knows how to do everything: short passes and long passes. With Kante it as if they are one player so strong is their understanding.”

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WINGER: MARC ALBRIGHTON

“A pure winger, a right winger who I have put on the left. He is a great worker, has remarkable shots, but also an unmistakable sense of sacrifice like all the team. Albrighton embodies the spirit of Leicester.”

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WINGER: RIYAD MAHREZ

“He goal at Manchester was crazy. He knew they expected him on his left foot, because that is his preferred foot, and instead he exploded with his right.

"This year he has given us incredible magic. Technically I don’t know who I can compare him with, he has immense quality and is our reference point: when we need to create, we give him the ball.”

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STRIKER: JAMIE VARDY

“Does he resemble Toto Schilllaci at Italia 90? It is true but he has a unique characteristic, he runs at 1,000 miles an hour and always at the same speed. He leaves at 1,000mph and arrives at 1,000mph.

"He immediately finds the speed and doesn't lose it.”

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Will Leicester win the Premier League this season?

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Topics:
Leicester City
Premier League
England Football
Football

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