Ranieri refuses to believe Leicester is title favorites, but they are
The entire globe is talking about Leicester City being the favorites to win the Premier League.
Their manager Claudio Ranieri is having none of it.
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Following Leicester’s stunning 3-1 win at fellow title-contenders Manchester City on Saturday the Foxes are five points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur.
Ranieri, 64, is refusing to accept his team are the title favorites -- bookmakers have slashed their odds on winning the title and now make them the favorites at 13/8 -- despite having a sizable lead with 13 games to go.
“I don’t believe them,” Ranieri said. “They said I was first to be sacked! But I hope they are right.”
Up next for Leicester is the small matter of a trip to Arsenal next Sunday (Watch live, 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), who will be five points behind the Foxes if they beat Bournemouth on Sunday.
Ranieri spoke to Leicester’s website about his side keeping their focus and keeping their dream alive.
“We know it’s a crazy league. We have to try in this crazy league but there are some big teams who have to win. We enjoy of course and we want to fight, but without pressure. For us it’s important to play and continue in this way because it’s a strange league,” Ranieri said. “We are alive and we want to fight. We go to Arsenal next and I hope we will concentrate as well as we have in the last two matches and continue our dream.”
With a 13-point gap over fifth-placed Manchester United as things stand, Leicester look almost nailed on to at least qualify for the UEFA Champions League which is something they’ve never done before.
A quick reminder of Leicester’s odds of winning the PL title at the start of the season: 5,000/1. If they manage to stay the course and pull this off it would be the biggest shock in PL history. Period.
While all the other title contenders have to play in the Champions League, Europa League and domestic cup competitions, Leicester only has 13 more games this season and that means their players will stay fresh and focused. They have no pressure and are playing with the freedom of a team who have no worries. They ere expected to battle against relegation this season and last year they only escaped the drop with a remarkable run of seven wins in their final nine games. This season it is so completely different.
Don’t listen to Ranieri. They can do this and given City’s stumbling form and Arsenal’s erratic finishing of late, they should be the favorites.