Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Valencia v Monaco

Saturday, 02 August 2014, 14:00

Friendly Match

Ranieri relishing 'real test'

Claudio Ranieri is looking forward to Monaco's biggest test since returning to Ligue 1 when they travel to leaders Marseille this weekend.

Last Updated: 31/08/13 at 11:12 Post Comment

Claudio Ranieri: Looking forward to Marseille test

Claudio Ranieri: Looking forward to Marseille test

The promoted principality club have started strongly following their extensive - and expensive - summer recruitment, with two wins and a draw from their opening three games.

That still leaves them two points behind Elie Baup's side, though, and Ranieri is well aware of the task which awaits his men.

"Marseille are a good team, they play in the Champions League and for us this will be a real test," he told the club's official website.

"I want to see how my players do against this kind of team.

"What matters to me is to play and win as a team. I hope that will be the case on Sunday."

One of those summer recruits, Portugal playmaker Joao Moutinho, is in line for his Monaco debut following a thigh injury and Ranieri hopes that will benefit another, Moutinho's former Porto team-mate Radamel Falcao.

"Moutinho should play," said the Italian. "We will see how he feels after the final training session.

"I think with Moutinho in the team, Falcao will have more chances because they are used to each other."

Monaco have also added to their midfield options with the capture of France international Geoffrey Kondogbia from Sevilla for a reported 20million euros.

Marseille's 100 per cent start to the league season saw four of their players included yesterday in France's squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Belarus.

That includes a first call-up since the 2010 World Cup for striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, to the delight of club and country colleague Mathieu Valbuena.

"I congratulate him, it is to his credit," Valbuena told the club's official website.

"He has worked quietly since he came here and he is now harvesting the fruits of that work. I hope he will put together good performances for OM and France.

"To have four OM players in the France team is very encouraging for the club and that can only help our togetherness on the pitch."

One player who has not shone in the club's stellar opening is Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou, whose error gifted Guingamp their consolation goal in last week's 3-1 scoreline.

"I cannot explain my difficulties, I can't say whether it's because I returned late (for pre-season) or something else," he said.

"My error at Guingamp, I had forgotten it by the next day.

"I am working to be able to give what people expect of me."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

Footer 365

Diego Costa gets two assists Chelsea's 3-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem

Diego Costa grabbed two assists as Chelsea beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 on Wednesday

Women's football: Natasha Dowie says Fara Williams can earn 200 caps

Fara Williams has enough ability to earn 200 caps for England, according to Liverpool Ladies team-mate Natasha Dowie

Women's football: Dunia Susi and Rachel Brown-Finnis out of England's game with Sweden

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Mail Box

Divock Origi Is Like Connor Sammon (Sort Of)

One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property