Friday 21 October 2016

Ranieri: I hope bookmakers are right

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA

Claudio Ranieri defied the odds to stay in his job but hopes the bookmakers are right this time after making his Leicester team title favourites.

The Foxes are five points clear at the top of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow' trip to third-place Arsenal.

Last week's 3-1 win at Manchester City saw them installed as favourites, having been considered a 5000-1 shot at the start of the campaign.

Ranieri was also fancied to be get the axe after succeeding Nigel Pearson, but now he hopes the bookmakers get it right.

"I hope the bookmakers, this time, are right but I am very pragmatic," the Leicester manager said.

"Give me points and not words. We want to continue to dream - nobody wake us up, please.

"Every match is very tough, there are no easy matches. If Leicester are top of the league, that means there's no easy match and it's a very interesting Premier League so far. We want to maintain this level.

Great story

"Look how many journalists are here. Why? Because of what happened. It's a great story so why the pressure? Let's enjoy.

"It's a 12-point gap (to fifth place and) for us to achieve the Champions League would be fantastic. I don't think where we can finish at the end.

"Life is very short and it's important to be happy. I make a good experience but sometimes you need a bad experience."

January signing Daniel Amartey will not feature as he continues to gain fitness following his move from Copenhagen, while Jeff Schlupp (hamstring) and Matty James (knee) are out.

Ranieri has never beaten Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in a domestic competition, but won 2-1 at Highbury as Chelsea boss in the 2004 Champions League quarter-finals.

"The last time I met him, I won 2-1 in the Champions League quarter final. He forgot but I remember. I will tell him Sunday 'when you lose, you forgot'," Ranieri joked.

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