‘This season will be harder for Leicester City’ – Claudio Ranieri reacts to shock opening day defeat to Hull

Claudio Ranieri claims defending champions Leicester City are still big underdogs in the Premier League this season, having begun their title defence with a shock defeat at Hull.

The Tigers may be a club in crisis – still manager-less, favourites for relegation and with only 13 first-team players fit for their season opener – but they battled well to claim a 2-1 victory over the defending champions on Saturday afternoon.

Leicester, who played games in the United States, Sweden Scotland and London in a packed pre-season schedule, were out of sorts at the KCOM Stadium.

And they were punished for two defensive mistakes, as goals from Adama Diomande and Roberto Snodgrass, either side of a Riyad Mahrez penalty, handed Hull all three points.

Leicester know all about underdogs, and Ranieri admitted this season will present a much tougher challenge for his men.

“We knew very well that today would be a difficult match,” Ranieri told talkSPORT following the game.

“I think we missed two chances to score early, then we made two mistakes and they scored twice.

“The team made a lot of effort, but it was individual effort, while Hull City played much better as a team.

“They defended very well and they tried to play counter-attack and played well.

“We came here to win but sometimes it’s not possible and we made some mistakes.

“Once they had scored twice after it was very difficult for us to find the solution to score a goal.

“I told my players after the game that this season will be harder than last season.

“But we are still the underdogs. There are so many dogs in front of us.”

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