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Claudio Ranieri: 'Chelsea can be caught in Premier League title race'

Claudio Ranieri watches on during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Leicester City on December 13, 2016
© SilverHub
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri insists that Chelsea can still be caught in the Premier League title race despite sitting five points clear at the top of the table.

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has insisted that Chelsea can still be caught in the Premier League title race this season.

Antonio Conte's side stormed to the top of the table courtesy of a 13-match winning streak, which finally came to an end at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in their last league outing.

Despite that defeat, Chelsea still boast a five-point lead over second-placed Liverpool, but Ranieri warned that there is still a long way to go in the race as he prepares to welcome his former club to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

"Yes, they can be caught. They started not so well but after a few matches Conte understood the team and the players. They made a good start and lost to Tottenham after 13 [straight wins] which is an amazing achievement. We expect a lot from them but we are ready to fight and win," he told reporters.

"Yes it's harder [to win from the front]. But I think everyone wants to be up there and not behind, that is much better. But the league is very long and they must be careful. I am a sporting man, I want the best to win the title but of course, if I had to give someone the title, why not Chelsea?

"I expect a strong reaction from them. They are old champions and they want to make up for defeat. Last season was something strange. This season it's normal. Chelsea are in the first position and Leicester are there (15th) - that's all, last season was strange. We'll come back, don't worry."

Chelsea are currently nine points better off than eventual champions Leicester were at the same stage of last season.

Chelsea's John Terry during the EFL Cup match between Chelsea and Bristol Rovers at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2016
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea28223359213869
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs28178355213459
3Manchester CityMan City28176554302457
4Liverpool29168561362556
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd271410342231952
6Arsenal27155756342250
7Everton29148751302150
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom29127103938143
9Stoke CityStoke2999113342-936
10Southampton2796123336-333
11Bournemouth2996144254-1233
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2996144052-1233
13Burnley2995153142-1132
14Watford2887133348-1531
15Leicester CityLeicester2886143347-1430
16Crystal Palace2884163646-1028
17Swansea CitySwansea2983183663-2727
18Hull City2966172658-3224
19Middlesbrough28410142033-1322
20Sunderland2855182450-2620