Leicester face must-win Hammers clash
Leicester, Dec 30: Claudio Ranieri admits victory is a must for Leicester City against West Ham United on Saturday, and the Italian is ready to turn to his struggling big guns in his moment of need.
Ranieri is set to recall Riyad Mahrez after dropping the Algerian star for the Boxing Day defeat to Everton.
Danny Drinkwater is expected to make his first Premier League start since November 22 after a three-match suspension and then a knee injury halted his campaign.
The pair will return with leading striker Jamie Vardy still suspended for a game Ranieri believes is pivotal to his side's prospects of avoiding a relegation battle.
The defending champions have lost nine of their 18 league games so far, leading to fears of a battle for survival just a year after they swept to the most unlikely title in Premier League history.
"West Ham is a must-win game," said Ranieri, whose side reach the halfway stage of their season against the Hammers.
"We have to get to 'the turn' at 20 points now we have 17. We have to win.
"We are unhappy. No-one is happy, but everyone the chairman me, players, sporting director we have to react as soon as possible and be a strong dressing room and show all the good things on the pitch.
"The match versus Everton was very even then they scored twice.
"It was unbelievable but that's football. Must concentrate, because when we concentrate we can show fantastic football."
Mahrez is set to return after a public rebuke from Ranieri in the wake of the Everton defeat, in which he figured as a second-half substitute.
Ranieri claimed after that game the Algerian was left out to 'stimulate' him after below-par displays in training and, while he backtracked on his criticism ahead of the West Ham game, the manager admitted he wants more from the reigning Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) player of the year.
"I hope he has reacted well," said Ranieri. "I watched him during training last week and he was a little tired. �AFP