The Foxes host Chelsea on Monday having been knocked off the Barclays Premier League summit by Manchester City. The managers have had a rocky relationship in the past and clashed while Ranieri was at Roma and Mourinho was Inter Milan boss in 2010. Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has revealed his sympathy for Jose Mourinho as he plots to regain top spot. Press Association But with the Chelsea chief under pressure following a poor season – which has seen them lose four of their last six league games to sit 17 points behind Leicester – Ranieri feels for his rival. He said: “Sympathy? Yes, but I have a good relationship with all the managers. For me doing this job is a fantastic life, it is good. “My relationship with Jose is all like other managers. Jose can have a wine (after the game) if he wants. I have a very good Italian wine.” Leicester are unbeaten in eight games but Manchester City’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Swansea on Saturday saw them move ahead at the top on goal difference. But Ranieri believes the Foxes’ focus will be key as he invoked inspiration from writer Rudyard Kipling. “In my job I tried to impose my philosophy, my atmosphere,” he said. “I know when we win it is easier. Everybody is well when everything goes in the right way but I am an experienced manager and I know the right thing is balance – not too high when you are top and not too down when you are down. It is balance. “I remember a Kipling poem If – it is fantastic. Victory and defeat are the same things. Maybe I will give it to my players.” The Foxes have stunned the top flight after beating relegation last season under former boss Nigel Pearson but Ranieri knows they still need to prove they can maintain their form. He added: “We have to go for another 10 matches to continue to stay not top but around the top. I am very proud, my players are playing well and a lot of fans look on us as a team who play well.”
The agent of Black Stars coach Avram Grant has angered football officials for his derogatory comments about Ghana’s top flight.In defending his client’s long holidays abroad, Rubie Saif told the BBC that the local leagues’ players totally fall short of Grant’s requirements for a national team call up.This, he hinted, justifies the Israeli’s endless journeys around the world in search of top class talent.But some football officials have taken a contrary view and taken a swipe at the agent. One of them is Premier League Board boss Welbeck Abrah-Appiah.“It is only a poor, unproductive and lazy teacher who goes about complaining about,” he told Joy Sports.“Has [Rubie] come up with one single idea [or] advice to the GFA [on] how we can improve on our structure which he now calls poor? It is rather unfortunate his man Avram Grant does not even stay in the country to watch our matches to know whether it is poor or not. How did [the agent] come by that statement?” Another salvo came from former Kotoko coach Isaac ‘Opeele’ Boateng, an avowed critic of Grant’s methods and style.“Avram Grant’s agent should shut up. We have quality in the league, so how do you come and tell us we don’t have quality in the league?” the outspoken coach told Asempa FM.“All the Ghanaian players in Europe he is scouting played in the local league before they went out there. Avram Grant is a lazy coach and his agent should shut up because if he keeps supporting Avram then he should also be known as a lazy man.”Also scandalized is the head of the Black Stars management committee, George Afriyie, who questions Rubie’s basis for putting the Ghana Premier league in disrepute on such a platform as the BBC.“I totally disagree with him on this one, how can he say there are no quality players in the Ghana league?” Grant has named a 24 man team to face Rwanda in an AFcon 2017 qualifier early in September.Click here to see the squadClick here to read: Editorial – Avram Grant, can you be serious?–Follow Benedict on Twitter: @KwesiBenedict. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag
49ers clinch playoff berth with:49ers win AND Rams loss or tie OR49ers tie AND Rams lossSeattle Seahawks(at Rams)Seahawks clinch playoff berth with:Seahawks win or tieAFC playoff pictureRavens (10-2)Patriots (10-2)Texans (10-2)Chiefs (8-4)Bills (9-3)Steelers (7-5)In the hunt: Titans (7-5), Raiders (6-6), Colts (6-6), Browns (5-7)NFC playoff pictureSaints (10-2)Seahawks (10-2)Packers (9-3)Cowboys (6-7)49ers (10-2)Vikings (8-4)In the hunt: Rams (7-5), Bears (7-6), Eagles (5-7), Buccaneers (5-7), Panthers (5-7) MORE: Full NFL playoff picture for Week 14There’s also a wacky scenario in which the Bills, not the Ravens, the Patriots or the Chiefs, would become the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot. It’s an unlikely scenario that would have to begin with Buffalo upsetting Baltimore on Sunday, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.If Buffalo beats Baltimore, Tennessee beats Oakland, Denver beats or ties Houston and Tampa Bay beats or ties Indianapolis, then the Bills would clinch a playoff berth before the Patriots and Chiefs get their chances to do so in the late Sunday afternoon window. You never know.Here are all the Week 14 NFL playoff clinching scenarios for the Ravens, Bills, Chiefs, Patriots, 49ers and Seahawks.NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 14Baltimore Ravens(at Bills)Ravens clinch AFC North title with:Ravens win AND Steelers loss or tie ORRavens tie AND Steelers lossRavens clinch playoff berth with:Ravens win ORRavens tie AND Texans loss or tie ORRavens tie AND Titans loss or tie ORTexans loss AND Colts loss or tie AND Raiders-Titans tie(UPDATE: The Ravens clinched a playoff berth with their win over the Bills.)Buffalo Bills(vs. Ravens)Bills clinch playoff berth with:Bills win AND Raiders loss or tie AND Texans loss AND Colts loss or tieKansas City Chiefs(at Patriots)Chiefs clinch AFC West title with:Chiefs win AND Raiders loss(UPDATE: The Chiefs clinched the AFC West title with their win over the Patriots and the Raiders’ loss to the Titans.)New England Patriots(vs. Chiefs)Patriots clinch playoff berth with:Patriots win ORPatriots tie AND Steelers loss ORPatriots tie AND Texans loss or tie ORPatriots tie AND Titans loss or tie ORTexans loss AND Colts loss or tie AND Raiders-Titans tieSan Francisco 49ers(at Saints) NFL playoff clinching scenarios are growing in numbers as we near the end of the 2019 regular season, and in Week 14, six teams have chances to clinch either postseason berths or division titles.The Saints last week became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot when they beat the Falcons to win the NFC South title. This week, the Ravens and Chiefs are the only teams that can clinch their respective division titles. The Bills, Patriots, Seahawks and 49ers have scenarios in which they would clinch playoff berths but not the AFC East or NFC West.