English Premiership

Aliens more likely than Leicester repeat - Ranieri

2016-08-11 22:01
Claudio Ranieri (Getty Images)

Leicester - Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri joked on Thursday that there is more chance of aliens landing in London than there is of his side successfully defending their Premier League title this season.

Leicester defied odds of 5,000-1 to win last season's title and on the eve of their new campaign, which begins with a trip to promoted Hull City on Saturday, Ranieri insisted that lightning would not strike twice.

"It's easier for ET to come to Piccadilly Circus," he told a press conference at Leicester's King Power Stadium.

"I work to be safe (from relegation) and continue to build a team. Anything more that happens is fantastic.

"It is normal that we can't win the league. For this reason I say the bookmakers must do 6,000-1. It is impossible. It is more difficult than last season."

Ranieri, who signed a new four-year contract this week, has seen all of the Premier League's heavyweights strengthen during the off-season.

Manchester United and Manchester City have each spent around £150 million on new players.

United have notably acquired Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with City bringing in a raft of promising young players including England centre-back John Stones and Germany winger Leroy Sane.

Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have also opened their cheque books and Ranieri expects the battle for the 2016-17 crown to be ferocious.

"Of course they are stronger because they can't make a mistake another year," said the 64-year-old Italian, whose side finished 10 points clear of second-place Arsenal in May.

"They lost one season and in the life of those big teams that can happen, but altogether it only happens once in a lifetime.

"I am very curious. All the world is curious (about) what will happen with Leicester. I am very curious to see where we finish.

"Of course the big teams are ready to fight for the title. We are ready to defend our title, but we know it is a difficult gap.

"Last season we made something unbelievable. But now the big teams will come back, I am sure."

Ranieri reported a clean bill of health ahead of the trip to the KC Stadium, where Ahmed Musa, Nampalys Mendy and Bartosz Kapustka will all be in contention to make their competitive debuts.

Riyad Mahrez continues to be linked with a move to Arsenal, but Ranieri is confident that last season's Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year will stay put.

"I don't know, who is interested? Tell me if there is one," Ranieri said.

"Riyad will stay with us. I say: 'Hey, keep going, we have to improve, also you have to improve your experience in the Champions League, it's totally different.'"


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.