Laurent Blanc is looking forward to facing a man who inspired him to become a manager when Paris Saint-Germain take on Monaco.
French football's big spenders will meet for the first time since 2011 at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, with both teams having yet to taste defeat in Ligue 1 this season.
But Blanc is simply excited by the prospect of coming up against opposite number Claudio Ranieri, whom he worked under during a one-season stint as a player with Napoli over 20 years ago.
"I was inspired by him (Ranieri) because even at that the time, he wanted to make the game (attacking)," he said.
"He already had the offensive spirit. He showed that he wanted his team produce. and it influenced me because it gave me a vision of the game that I liked."
Ranieri's team currently sit top of Ligue 1 with 13 points from five games and, while the Italian acknowledges the talent PSG boast among their ranks, he is eager to take three points.
"I have great respect for PSG, but we want to win," the Italian said. "I can not just think of Edinson Cavani, he is not the only player, Laurent Blanc has many choices."
Monaco will be without central midfielder Jeremy Toulalan after he was ruled out with a adductor muscle problem, and so Mounir Obbadi and Geoffrey Kondogbia are both likely to start for the visitors.
The Monegasque club also have doubts over attacking duo Nacer Barazite and Valere Germain, meaning Radamel Falcao and leading scorer Emmanuel Riviere are Ranieri's only striking options.
Blanc is without the talents of creative midfielder Javier Pastore (foot), while Alex is still a doubt due to the thigh injury that saw him miss the midweek UEFA Champions League victory over Olympiacos.
|23||G. van der Wiel|
|Coach: L. Blanc|
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