Claudio Ranieri believes 'crazy' season means this can be Leicester's year

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Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has urged the Foxes to take advantage of a 'crazy' season in the Premier League.

The Italian has guided Leicester to the top of the table ahead of the weekend's fixtures.

They host Newcastle on Monday with Rafa Benitez taking charge of the Magpies for the first time after Steve McClaren was sacked on Friday.

Leicester's five-point lead will be cut to two by Tottenham if Spurs beat Aston Villa on Sunday but Ranieri knows it is an unpredictable year.

"The league this year is crazy," he said. "You know my ideas. I still have these ideas. Every decade or 20 years, something strange could happen.

"For this reason, we are fighting because it's a crazy league and anything could happen. We have to fight and at the end we can say, 'We have achieved this'.

"I said there were five games (for the international break this month) and then I can say what we can do. Now I am focused on Newcastle. The three points are very important for us."

Ranieri has consistently played down Leicester's title chances, despite the Foxes being in the top four since October.

They are now title favourites after being 5000-1 for the crown at the start of the season.

Ranieri, once known as the 'Tinkerman' at Chelsea, has used just 18 players, the lowest number in the top flight.

Switzerland international captain Gokhan Inler, a summer buy from Napoli, has played just 10 times and has voiced his frustration at his lack of action ahead of Euro 2016.

Ranieri admits the consistency of his selections means many of his squad have not had first-team opportunities but said they were still vital to City's title push.

"Something special happens if all the team are working well because a manager always needs all his players, not only the first 11.

Ranieri will face Benitez after the former Liverpool manager returned to England for the first time in three years but the Leicester boss had sympathy with McClaren.

He added: "It's our job, it's our life. Sometimes it could happen. I appreciated him. It's sad."

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