Why big-spending Newcastle have 'surprised' Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri has told of his "surprise" at Newcastle United's predicament.
Claudio RanieriClaudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri

Ranieri's table-topping Leicester City are the club's next opponents.

Both clubs fought successful battles against relegation from the Premier League last season.

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Yet Leicester are now five points clear at the top of the table, while Newcastle are 19th in the division and a point adrift of safety.

United's form is set to cost head coach Steve McClaren his job – the club hopes to appoint Rafa Benitez as his successor – and it is not clear who will be in the dugout at the King Power Stadium on Monday night.

Asked about his team's title hopes, Ranieri said: "Now we are not thinking about how many points.

"We are thinking about Newcastle. It's a difficult match, they are in a dangerous position. They spent more than £100million and I think it will be another difficult match. They are fighting to survive.

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"I am very surprised (they are struggling), they have a good manager, good players and fantastic fans."