Sampaoli: Leicester need to forget Premier League title miracle

Joe Williams

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Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli insists Leicester need to forget their title miracle to survive this year.

The Foxes face the Sevillistas in Spain on Wednesday in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Claudio Ranieri’s champions are yet to win in the Premier League in 2017, have failed to score in their last six top-flight games and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Sky Bet League One side Millwall on Saturday.

They are also just a point above the relegation zone and Sampaoli believes, while they pose a threat, the Foxes need to move on from their shock league win.

“We’re not talking about the team that won a league miraculously, you have to live in the now. So last year Leicester won the league but right now they are fighting relegation,” said the former Chile boss.

“The present matters the most. Ranieri got so much from the team last year with so little but now he is struggling, the past doesn’t matter, even when you have done something as miraculous as he did.

“I think Leicester are not having a good time in the league, they have a lot of doubts when last year they had so much belief. They were brilliant in the league last year and have been great in the Champions League, they qualified very quickly so in a two-legged tie it still poses a lot of risks for us.”

Sevilla are third in LaLiga following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Eibar and have won nine of their 11 home league games this season – losing just once.

They finished second in Group H, behind Juventus who are the only team to beat them at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Europe this term.

Sampaoli has been linked with Barcelona, should Luis Enrique leave the Nou Camp in the summer, but knocked back any talk over his future.

“We appreciate that they are trying to renew our contracts but we only want to live in the moment,” he said.

“This is the most important game for Sevilla the city we want to be one of the best eight teams in Europe and that’s more important than thinking about the future.”

Sampaoli is without the suspended Gabriel Mercado and injured Nicolas Pareja (groin).