Will friendship of Jose Mourinho & Claudio Ranieri prevail during Manchester United-Fulham clash at Old Trafford?

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Sudipta Biswas | Kolkata

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is going through a tough time at the Old Trafford. The Special One has been facinga flurry of scathing attack from his critics as the Red Devils are placed at the dismal eighth position in the league ladder. So, in this circumstance, one man who bestowed his support to Mourinho is Claudio Ranieri. The Fulham coach, who made a foray to the top-flight English football league in 2018 after parting ways with Leicester City, is looking forward to renewing his friendship with the Portuguese coach who replaced him at Chelsea in 2004. 

Fulham are currently at the rock bottom of the points table with nine points in 15 matches while Manchester United have 23 points in as many matches. Ranieri and Mourinho will confront each other when either side will take on each other on Saturday, December 8.

Mourinho’s men will aim for full points to squeeze the gap to motivate their morale for a better outcome in the following matches of the league. At this juncture, Fulham have nothing to lose. However, if they manage to hold the Old Trafford club to a draw, Ranieri’s boys will be appreciated by football pundits.

Read aslo : Gautam Gambhir : The unappreciated brave-heart of Indian cricket

The Ranieri-Mourinho bonding

Keeping aside the result of Saturday’s match, Ranieri revealed that Mourinho was the first manager to welcome him back to the top flight English football league following his appointment as head coach of Fulham on November 24, 2018. It was a special occasion for the Tinkerman, considering the state of mind he was in after Leicester City management sacked him in the wake of club’s sharp fall in performance in the 2017-2018 season.

“He was the first who sent me a message to say ‘welcome back’. He is an amicable human being. We discussed a lot of things about developments in European football,” he added. “I have known him for a long time when he came to Chelsea and in Italy, and he is very polite with me,” Ranieri stated.

Tinkerman is highly ambitious aboutManchester United prospect in EPL

When Ranieri was sacked from his job Mourinho was the first man to come up with the support for the astute thinker of football who led The Fox to the title nine months back. On the other hand, when the world is not ready to give a point to Manchester United Ranieri believes the Red Devils are improving and learning lessons from their mistakes in the previous matches.

The Portuguese manager, who is going through a difficult phase of his coaching career at the Old Trafford, is eight points behind of top four ranked sides in the league table.

“I think Manchester United are getting better in every match”, Ranieri said. “For us, it will be difficult. We have to come up with a perfect performance.”

One can’t take a team lightly which has been consistent in the Champions League. Manchester United are currently placed at the second position of Group H with 10 points in five matches. The EPL side-snatched a 2-1 away win over Juventus following a 1-0 defeat to the Old Lady infront of home fans.

A fightback on the card for RedDevils?

With 23 matches still left in the league Manchester United will have a good amount time to attempt a fightback after Christmas break, when Mourinho will be expected to come up with fresh ideas to rejuvenate Manchester United’s campaign. There are plenty of instances when a team went on to win the EPL title after a poor to the tournament. Chelsea is one of the best examples of this category since they lifted the coveted yellow metal in the 2016-2017 season coming from behind when Tottenham had a tough luck since they came so near to the title, but, had to bow down to Chelsea’ indomitable fighting spirit even after putting in their best performance in recent time.