Claudio Ranieri faces a late call to decide if first-choice Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will return to action during the Champions League Group G visit of Portuguese giants FC Porto to the King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening (27 September). The 29-year-old missed last weekend's 3-0 win over Burnley after sustaining a concussion, and also sat out the subsequent extra-time EFL Cup third-round loss to Chelsea.
Summer signing Ron-Robert Zieler continued to deputise during Saturday's heavy 4-1 defeat at Manchester United, with Schmeichel, who many had expected to return, sidelined for the third match in a row due to the recurrence of a groin injury. The Danish international also underwent surgery on a hernia issue last month and there were initial fears that this latest problem could leave him facing a further lay-off of approximately three weeks.
That does not appear to be the case, however. Schmeichel is now back in first-team training, although it remains to be seen if he will be ready to face Porto. If not, then former United and Hannover 96 stopper Zieler will presumably retain his place, ably supported by next in line Ben Hamer.
"Schmeichel trained normally today," Ranieri was quoted as saying at his pre-match press conference by BBC Leicester Sport. "Let me think tonight. You know I decide the night before to see if he's available tomorrow."
One player who definitely will not feature against Porto is Nampalys Mendy. Signed for £13m ($16.8m) from Nice in July as the defending Premier League champions sought to soften the considerable blow of compatriot N'Golo Kante's move to Chelsea, the defensive midfielder featured as a substitute in the Community Shield defeat at Wembley and made his first start in the goalless draw with Arsenal before suffering an ankle injury.
Ranieri confirmed that Mendy's return is still a few days away after he rolled his ankle in training this week. He could presumably play some part against Southampton at the weekend, or else wait until after the international break when the Foxes travel to Chelsea in the league. Matty James remains out with his own long-term ankle problem, although striker Shinji Okazaki could return after being an unused substitute at Old Trafford.
In addition to a fitness update, Ranieri admitted that his side, who began life in the Champions League with a memorable 3-0 win away to Club Brugge, seem to be scared when defending set-pieces and also revealed that Leicester have been looking to record signing Islam Slimani to gain the inside track on their next European opponents. The £29m forward played against Porto many times during his impressive three-year stint at Sporting CP.