Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri explains why he decided to drop Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City beat Norwich City 2-1 at the weekend, but Riyad Mahrez was not in their starting line-up.

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has defended his decision to drop Riyad Mahrez from his side's starting line-up during their game against Norwich City at the weekend in the Leicester Mercury.

Many supporters were surprised when Mahrez was named amongst the substitutes at Carrow Road, as the winger has been in scintillating form so far this season.

However, Ranieri revealed that he took the decision as he wanted to use the tricky winger as an impact sub, and his decision paid off, as Leicester picked up a 2-1 victory. 

"I left Mahrez out because I wanted to put him on in the second half, but the match was different and it was good for us, and for Mahrez to get a rest for one match," said Ranieri, quoted in the Leicester Mercury.

"It is okay, he can never play 38 matches. I have a lot of players in good condition and that is very good for the manager."

Mahrez ended up being an unused substitute in the fixture, as Ranieri utilised other options off the bench ahead of him. 

It may have been disappointing for the Algerian, but Ranieri always has had a reputation as a manager who likes to alternate his sides, and it should ensure that the winger remains fresh for future matches.

Mahrez has been one of Leicester's key players so far this season, scoring five times in eight appearances in all competitions, as the Foxes have climbed into fifth spot in the Premier League table. 

Leicester return to action in two weeks' time when they take on Southampton, and Mahrez will be hoping to be back in the starting line-up for that contest.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch