Leicester City: Oxford United to host Premier League champions in pre-season friendly

Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh
Leicester assistant coach Craig Shakespeare (left) worked with Michael Appleton at West Brom

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton says 'friends in high places' helped secure a pre-season friendly against Premier League champions Leicester.

Appleton, who used to work with Foxes assistant coach Craig Shakespeare at West Brom, is looking forward to hosting Claudio Ranieri's side.

"It might end up being the only game they play in England before the season starts," he told BBC Radio Oxford.

Oxford, promoted to League One this month, will face Leicester on 19 July.

Appleton and Shakespeare were part of England manager Roy Hodgson's backroom team during their time together at the Hawthorns.

"It's incredible how this game has come about," Appleton said. "It helps having a few friends who work at Premier League clubs and Craig and I were chatting a couple of months before the end of the season.

"The fact Leicester have obviously gone on to win the title since makes the occasion even more mouthwatering."

Leicester's pre-season schedule currently sees them facing Barcelona, Celtic and Paris St-Germain overseas in the International Champions Cup.

The game against Oxford will be their first visit to the Kassam Stadium since 2010 and is currently their only confirmed domestic pre-season fixture.

"For that to be the case with the likes of Jamie Vardy coming to play at our ground will be a fantastic occasion," Appleton added.

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