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Leicester title run-in 'a battle' - Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri says the remaining nine games of Leicester City's challenge for a momentous Premier League title will be a battle.

Leicester went five points clear at the top of the league with a 1-0 over Watford, Riyad Mahrez's stunning second-half strike settling Saturday's encounter at Vicarage Road.

The Foxes have never won a top-flight title, but will be expected to at least maintain that gap a week on Monday when they host relegation-threatened Newcastle United.

But Ranieri is taking nothing for granted, telling Sky Sports: "I know it is a good moment for us, there are nine games, every match is difficult.

"There will be a battle not only for us but for the rest of the Premier League.

"I don't know who is behind us, I want to run very, very fast. I don't know how many points [we need].

"At the start of the season I said we needed one more than 39 from last season. Of course now we are running for something special."

Mahrez has scored 11 of his 15 league goals away from home this season, and Ranieri added of the winger: "I don't like to compare players because each player is different and of course Riyad has so, so good skills.

"He plays so hard because I ask him to cover all the positions. This position [on the wing] he can take the ball and can be very dangerous and help his team-mates."