Leicester's Slimani ready for Premier League debut at Liverpool

Thu Sep 8, 2016 10:37am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Leicester City's club record signing Islam Slimani is ready to make his Premier League debut in Saturday's clash with Liverpool, manager Claudio Ranieri said on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Algeria striker moved from Sporting Lisbon for an initial 30 million euros ($33.93 million) hours before the transfer window closed.

Slimani, who was in Algeria's squad for their African Nations Cup qualifier against Lesotho earlier this week, scored 27 league goals in 33 appearances as Sporting finished second in the Portuguese championship last season.

"Slimani arrives this evening or tomorrow. I didn't see him yet. He's available for Saturday. He could play. We bought him because we believe in his ability," Ranieri told reporters on Thursday.

"He cost a lot of money but if you see the market it's a crazy market."

Ranieri also said goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was ready to return to action after having surgery on a hernia. None of his players had been injured on international duty, he added.

Ranieri, who led 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester to the league title last season, backed Liverpool, who ended last season in eighth place, to challenge for the league title this campaign.

"Liverpool is one of my favorites to win the league," he said.

"They are ready to fight for the title. We go there to try and win. We are the champions. It'll be difficult for us but also for them."   Continued...

Football Soccer - Sporting v Porto - Portuguese Premier League - Alvalade Stadium, Lisbon, Portugal - 02/01/2016   Sporting's Islam Slimani celebrates his goal after scoring against Porto. REUTERS/Hugo Correia/Files