This year’s Premier League will be stacked with world-class managers, and, in addition to Claudio Ranieri and his magic at Leicester City, English sidelines will be home to a host of football geniuses in the form of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger, and Mauricio Pochettino.
Reigning champion Ranieri expects the title race to be even more tightly contested this year with all the new high-profile arrivals. In particular, he praised Conte and believes that Chelsea will be much improved under the Italian mastermind, telling the Gazzetta dello Sport that “Antonio and Chelsea are made for each other.”
Leicester’s main challenger over the second half of the season was Tottenham, and Ranieri expects them to again be contenders under Pochettino, having enjoyed competing against the Argentine manager.
He said of the Argentine, “Pochettino was an exemplary rival in the final sprint to the title last season.”
So too, Klopp joined Liverpool in the middle of last season, and despite their disappointing campaign, Ranieri admires the German manager’s work so far and is sure both he and Liverpool will improve.
“He’s working very well. Klopp will have the advantage of having broken the ice with the environment and learned more about the Premier League. He also seems to me perfect for a particular environment such as that of Liverpool.”
Ranieri reserved perhaps his highest compliment for incoming Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, stating that he is looking forward to facing off against ‘the special one’, and adding in an interview that:
“[Mourinho] may become the new Sir Alex Ferguson. He will not stay in Manchester for 26 years, but he will leave his mark.”