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Ranieri refuses to accept Leicester City are now Premier League title favourites

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri. Credit: PA

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri refused to accept his team are now title favourites after their sensational 3-1 win at Manchester City.

The surprise Premier League leaders opened up a six-point lead over Manuel Pellegrini's men - the side many expect to take the crown - with a near-perfect display at the Etihad Stadium.

One leading bookmaker immediately made Leicester - 5,000/1 outsiders at the start of the season - the new 7/4 favourites for the title.

But Ranieri, aware he was the one-time hot favourite in the 'sack race', said: "I don't believe the bookmakers. At the beginning of the season the bookmakers said, 'sack Ranieri'. I hope one time they are right!"

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England take 2-0 lead in ODI series in South Africa

Jos Buttler demonstrated his star quality, and Alex Hales his versatility, as England won by five wickets to take a 2-0 one-day international series lead over South Africa.

Hales (99) had to bat against type to keep England on track, after Reece Topley's career-best four for 50 restricted South Africa to a marginally under-par 262 for seven on a slow and occasionally unpredictable surface at St George's Park.

Then on a day which started with Buttler bagging a £385,000 deal to join Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, he finished the job with a flurry of fours and sixes and the unexpected leeway of 22 balls to spare.

Lee Johnson takes charge of Bristol City

Bristol City have appointed Lee Johnson as head coach on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 34-year-old was given permission to speak to the Robins on Friday after the Championship strugglers triggered a release clause in his contract at Barnsley.

Johnson made 199 appearances as a player over six seasons at Ashton Gate and helped the club to promotion in 2007 but he takes over with City in the relegation zone in the second tier, albeit on goal difference.

Bristol City's chief operating officer Mark Ashton says Johnson is the right man for the job: "Lee is a very bright, intelligent young man who is highly motivated and very detailed in his approach. He's well-known to the club; fans, stakeholders and staff.

"He is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the country and having interviewed him, I had no hesitation in recommending to the board that Lee is the right fit for this football club."

Liverpool v Sunderland teams: Daniel Sturridge on the bench

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