Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri believes his side’s Champions League game against Sevilla could be a turning point in their season.
The Foxes are struggling domestically this term and are facing a relegation fight less than a year after winning the Premier League. They are currently 17th in the table, just one point above Hull City, who are in the relegation zone.
Despite domestic troubles, Leicester finished top of their qualifying group in the Champions League, losing only one game before setting up a tie against Sevilla.
Ahead of the game on Wednesday, Ranieri has suggested a win could help his team kick on for the rest of the season. According to BBC Sport, he said:
“This game could be everything. If we win, something could change. We need one match like this.”
As they won their group, Leicester have home advantage in the second leg, meaning this week’s game is being played in Spain.
An injury to striker Islam Slimani has made the task even harder and Leicester will be the underdogs heading into the match. Sevilla are far more experienced in Europe and have won the Europa League in each of the last three years.
Now they are back in the knock-out stages of Europe’s elite competition, they will be desperate to prove that this is where they belong.
Unlike Leicester, they haven’t been struggling in the league this year. Sevilla are currently third in La Liga, just two points behind Barcelona and three behind leaders Real Madrid.
“We know in our mind we are the underdog,” added Ranieri ahead of the game.
With his side being dragged into a relegation scrap, a positive performance in the Champions League could give Leicester the confidence they need to stay up.
However, should they be embarrassed by Sevilla, the team’s problems may only deepen.