In Summary
  • The Algerian looks set to return to Puel's starting line-up for Friday's fifth-round FA Cup tie against Sheffield United after a three-game absence.
  • Leicester are one of few Premier League sides without a relegation battle or fight for Champions League places on their hands, allowing Puel to concentrate on a bid for Cup glory.

LONDON

Leicester City boss Claude Puel believes Riyad Mahrez is in "better" shape than before his self-imposed Foxes exile.

The Algerian looks set to return to Puel's starting line-up for Friday's fifth-round FA Cup tie against Sheffield United after a three-game absence.

Mahrez missed training for 10 days following Leicester's refusal to entertain a bid from runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City before last month's transfer deadline.

However, he made his Leicester comeback as a second-half substitute against prospective employers City last weekend just a day after returning to training as Puel's men were thrashed 5-1.

"I think better," said Puel when asked if Mahrez is still in the form that has seen him score nine goals and provide nine assists this season.

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