Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri has spoken out ahead of a sumptuous clash between a doggedly determined Leicester City and a teetering Arsenal side that has recently been rejuvenated by a midweek win over their perennial foes Tottenham.
Ranieri’s side has come out as a team to watch this season, achieving commendable feats in their first six matches, including a scrappy win whereby they had to come from behind to clinch the three points, and a draw.
Leicester lie pretty on the table at fourth position, one position above Arsenal with 12 points, against the North Londoners’ 10.
As of now, the Italian is the only unbeaten manager in the Premier League, a record he will seek to prolong over the weekend.
He is, however, aware of his poor run against Wenger, and the measly record hangs over him like a dark cloud, reminding him of the seriousness with which he is required to approach the fixture.
During his stint at Chelsea, Ranieri won only one of the 14 encounters against Arsenal. The single win, however, was a surprise Champions League final at Arsenal’s legendary backyard, Highbury.
11 years later, the memories of him having to play second fiddle to Wenger are fresh in his mind, and he will definitely have to muster the optimism of that single big win to overturn his jinx against the aquiline Frenchman.
He however, is full of praise for Wenger, highlighting his ability to sniff out world class talent in those days, experienced by his choice of players like Thierry Henry, Frederick Ljunberg, and Vieira among others.
He agrees that they are a big threat in the title race this season, but he is also quick to reiterate that the crop of players may not be up to the standard required for a Champions League winning side.
He is proud of his side’s fitness and mental strength, and maintains that his main focus is on winning the game.