The two local rivals meet in Derby de la Cote d'Azur on Tuesday night, with Claude Puel's Nice heading into the match on the back of five consecutive defeats in Ligue 1.
"Derbies are always special matches and there's no favourite in these games," Ranieri said in his press conference. "I've been involved in a lot of derbies in my career, especially in England.
"Nice don't deserve to be on their losing run. They've got some good players, a top goalkeeper, a top forward and a very good coach who coached Monaco to the Ligue 1 title.
"They qualified for Europe last season but the following season it's always difficult to build on that."
You can get live commentary of Monaco's clash with Nice on Sports Mole tonight, with kickoff at 8pm.