“Ranieri to teach Watford the ABCs of football”

Claudio Ranieri will be in charge of his first game since taking over as Watford coach on Saturday when Liverpool head to Vicarage Road (12.30pm BST), but how is the Italian perceived in his home country?

When he took over at Sampdoria in October 2019, they were at the bottom of Serie A, but finished 15th this season and then placed ninth the next.

Italian football expert James Horncastle, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily – Euro League podcast, believes Ranieri will get back to basics with the Hornets.

“If you go back two years when Ranieri came to Sampdoria, it was exactly the same stage of the season: seven games, they were down and had lost six of their first seven,” Horncastle said.

“He’s stabilized things and that’s what he will do. He will teach Watford the ABCs of football again – 4-4-2, keeping the sheets clean, and then we’ll find the rest.

“What I love about Claudio Ranieri is his positivity. He will be with a steady hand at the helm, like a captain in a perfect storm and that won’t faze him.

“In Parma he kept that team in place. In February they were in the relegation zone and no one prayed to them – then Ranieri came in and was a very calming presence.”

Listen to more on Ranieri on the full podacst episode (from 13’20) on BBC Sounds

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