Claudio Ranieri wants Leicester fans to dream ahead of Manchester City clash

Victory against Manchester City would confirm Leicester as serious Premier League title contenders, but Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri will not be making such bold statements, whatever the result on Saturday.

Leicester are the story of the campaign. Under Ranieri they have transformed from relegation candidates into league leaders and, barring a dramatic slump in results, are certainties for European football next season -- probably in the Champions League.

A win this weekend over their nearest rivals would take the Foxes six points clear of City, but Ranieri remains grounded, with another difficult trip to Arsenal on the agenda after the Etihad.

"Even if we win, and we try to win, then we can still lose at Arsenal," Ranieri said.

"We want our fans to dream, but we know it's a tough match and from now on there will only be tough matches.

"We must continue in this way. I told my players that we made 39 points in the first half (of the season) so I want 40 points from the second half -- one more.

"We have to take two points every match between now and the end of the season to arrive at 79 points. I don't know if it will be good enough to win (the league), but I want to improve.

"If we don't improve, we've still had a fantastic season but we've slowed down.

"We believe in the next match. We believe we are working well. We believe. Sooner or later we will lose, but nothing must change.''

Ranieri has been asked on countless occasions over the past few months whether he believes Leicester can win the Premier League and he has played it down every time.

Asked if he had told his players that he believes they can lift the title, the Italian joked: "You want to know if I told something to my players? This is a secret.

"It's a battle now -- Manchester City and then Arsenal. We have to make sure we just keep working and running and running.

"I hope we don't feel the pressure because it's the first time we have been here."

Ranieri will assess the fitness of recent signing Daniel Amartey before deciding if he will be involved for the first time in the top-of-the-table clash.

Amartey joined Leicester on Jan. 23 but has yet to make the squad, having last played a competitive game for former club FC Copenhagen at the start of December because of the winter break.

The Ghana international's versatility -- he was signed mainly as a central midfielder but can also play at centreback and rightback -- is the reason Ranieri has allowed Ritchie De Laet and Yohan Benalouane to go out on loan.

Only Matty James (knee) and Jeff Schlupp (hamstring) will definitely be absent for the trip to Manchester.