Leicester back Ranieri despite relegation threat

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 With their recent defeat at home to Manchester United leaving them just a point above the relegation zone, manager Claudio Ranieri is coming under severe pressure from supporters as the Foxes look to rediscover their form of last season. However, despite their recent struggles, the Italian boss has received the backing from the club, with the club set to fight in both the Champions League and Premier League over the coming weeks.

Just over six months ago, Leicester were celebrating the biggest day in their history, with Captain Wes Morgan lifting the Premier League trophy for the first time after a remarkable campaign. However, with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez failing to rediscover their form from last year, as well as N’Golo Kante continuing to show just how much of an asset he is with league leaders Chelsea, the Foxes are now among the favourites for relegation. For those of you wishing to back Ranieri’s men to steer clear of the drop zone, you can find all football competitions at one place including UK, International, European and other Leagues.

 Wins for fellow strugglers Hull City and Sunderland last time around only compounded Leicester’s misery, with just two points separating the bottom six in the Premier League table. Relegation for the Foxes would make them the first club to drop down to the Championship having won the title the previous year, with Rainieri keen to justify his winning of the FIFA Coach of the Year Award in 2016.

With a Champions League Round of 16 tie against Spanish La Liga side Sevilla to look forward to, Claudio Ranieri would likely trade wins against Swansea City and Liverpool in the coming weeks with European progression. Leicester’s players have been criticised widely in the press, with Arsenal’s legendary striker Ian Wright calling them “lazy”. Other reports suggest that the Italian boss has lost the support of his dressing room, with a reported ban on chicken burgers upsetting some of the players.

The former Chelsea boss, previously known as the “tinkerman”, will be hoping that his latest idea will get the players motivated, with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr set to meet the Leicester squad during his time in the UK. With just five wins from their 24 Premier League fixtures to date, the presence of the unbeaten American can certainly not have a negative effect on the team.

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Denis Shapovalov receives fine for umpire incident

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Umpire Arnaud Gabas after the hit. Photo Credit: Dailymail.co.uk

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov has been fined £5,600, after he hit the umpire in the eye with a ball during his Davis Cup match against Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Shapovalov was losing 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 when he sensationally hit the ball in anger. The 17-year-old had no intention of hitting umpire Arnaud Gabas, and has since stated that he was attempting to hit the ball out of court in frustration.

The moment of madness meant that GB were awarded a default win, prompting the youngster to release a statement apologising for “letting his country down”.

The fine is broken down into two different disciplinary sections: $2,000 is for the default, and $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Shapovalov will feel lucky, as he escaped the maximum fine of $12,000, because the incident was deemed to be unintentional.

The default handed GB the progression in the Cup, after Vasek Pospisil had beaten Dan Evans to make it 2-2 overall, setting up the decider between Shapovalov and Edmund.

The video of the incident happening quickly went viral on social media, and can be seen below:

In happier news, Tickets for Roland Garros are now available for purchase, and with the tournament now just a few months away it’s definitely time to consider making your purchase.

Novak Djokovic is the early favourite at 9/5, with Rafael Nadal at 11/4 and world number one Andy Murray 4/1.

Ivanovic leaves Chelsea after nine years

Бранислав Иванович продолжит карьеру в «Зените»
Credit: Zenit St Petersburg

Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has left Chelsea after nine years with the Blues, having signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg for an undisclosed fee.

Ivanovic joined Chelsea in 2008 from Lokomotiv Moscow, and went on to feature in over 350 first team games for the team.

Chelsea fans can look back fondly on his impressive career with the club, which included an medals list of the following: Champions League winners, Premier League title x2, FA Cup winners x3, League Cup winners, Community Shield and their Europa League success in 2013.

First team opportunities had become increasingly sparse, and the 32-year-old had only made six starts for table-topping Chelsea so far this season.

Ivanovic managed mark what was his final appearance for the Blues with a goal, as he scored in the 4-0 victory over Brentford in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Another club stalwart in John Terry was one of the first players to make a tribute to ‘Brana’, who he described as a ‘legend’.

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday night, but should have taken all three points if not for a missed penalty by Diego Costa.

The Blues host Arsenal this Saturday at 12:30, and this along with the rest of the Premier League scores are available to be followed at popular site SBAT.com.