Ranieri to attend Roma and Leicester's Europa Conference League clash

Claudio Ranieri will be in attendance as former club Leicester battle it out with Roma for a place in the Europa Conference League final… but the ex-Foxes manager will be cheering for their opponents as a Rome native

  • Claudio Ranieri will be in stands when Roma host Leicester on Thursday night
  • The Foxes will be aiming to reach their first European final at the Stadio Olimpico
  • They drew 1-1 with Roma in their Europa Conference League semi-final first leg
  • But Ranieri will be cheering for Jose Mourinho’s men in Thursday’s decider
  • The former Leicester boss is a Rome native and previously managed the club

Claudio Ranieri will be in the stands as Leicester attempt to reach their first European Final but the Italian will be cheering for their opponents.

The 70-year-old was in charge when Leicester wrote one of the greatest stories in sport by winning the 2016 Premier League title.

Yet as a fan and former manager of Roma, as well as a native of Rome, Ranieri is backing Jose Mourinho’s side to knock out the Foxes at the Stadio Olimpico and make it to the inaugural Europa Conference League Final. Last week’s first leg at the King Power Stadium ended 1-1.

Claudio Ranieri will be in stands when Roma go head to head with Leicester on Thursday night

Ranieri famously made Leicester English champions, but the Italian is also a native of Rome

‘The relationship with Leicester was professional, but being a fan reminds me of how I felt when I was young,’ Ranieri told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘I can’t betray that feeling. English fans are affectionate towards me, but Rome is my home.’

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is waiting on the fitness of midfield pair Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Maddison before naming his travelling squad for Rome.

Both were left out last Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Tottenham, Dewsbury-Hall with a calf problem and Maddison due to a hip complaint. Maddison has struggled with his hip before but Rodgers will be desperate to use the duo in the club’s most important game of the campaign.

The winner of the Europa Conference League qualifies for next season’s Europa League and represents by far Leicester’s best route into European competition next term.

Rodgers’ men are 10 points adrift of seventh-placed West Ham in the Premier League, with five matches remaining.

Leicester were held to a 1-1 draw by Jose Mourinho’s side in last week’s semi-final first leg

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