Spurs are title favourites

Claudio Ranieri and Mauricio Pochettino

Claudio Ranieri (left) has never won a top-flight title in his managerial career

Tottenham are the Premier League title favourites, according to Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri.

Spurs, who are two points behind leaders Leicester with 11 games remaining, have not been top since the first week of the 2009-10 season.

But ex-Chelsea boss Ranieri, whose side host West Brom on Tuesday (19:45 GMT), believes the Londoners can end their 55-year wait for a top-flight title.

“Tottenham are strong in every situation,” said the Italian.

Spurs could go top with a win at West Ham on Wednesday, should the Foxes slip up against West Brom.

Arsenal are three points adrift of their London rivals in third, with Manchester City another four points back in fourth, albeit with a game in hand.

Ranieri believes his side’s exploits this season have allowed Tottenham to avoid the usual attention generated by a title challenge.

“Everyone is speaking about Leicester but nobody about Tottenham,” he said.

“Tottenham, in my opinion, are favourites. When they defend and when they attack, they know what they want.

“We are the surprise, that is fantastic, a good energy, but if we are realistic the real competitors are Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham.”


Would a Leicester title be bigger than Nottingham Forest’s in 1978?

‘You’d put this in front of Forest’

Ranieri may be reluctant to speak about his side’s title hopes, but West Brom counterpart Tony Pulis is hoping the Foxes can hold off their rivals.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: “It would be fantastic for everyone connected with English football.

“The divide between the big clubs and everyone else is enormous. It would give everyone hope. You want to see the underdog do well.

“It would be a wonderful, wonderful achievement. I hope they see it through.”

Pulis believes Leicester winning the title, a year after fighting relegation, would eclipse the achievements of Brian Clough with Nottingham Forest in 1978.

Clough took Forest to their first – and only – domestic league title a year after winning promotion to the top flight, and later won two European Cups.

“It’ll be a little bit like Forest, with Cloughie when he took them up in the 70s. It’d be that big,” said Pulis.

“But it was different then – the divide then wasn’t as great as the divide is now between those who’ve got it and those who haven’t got it.

“The Premier League wasn’t in place, so you’d most probably put this in front of that.”

Watch Match of the Day on Wednesday on BBC One and online – 22:45-00:15 in England, 23:45-01:15 in Scotland NI; 23:20-00:50 in Wales.

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