Paris: Claudio Ranieri admits he has "fantastic memories" of coaching Monaco as his Nantes side prepare to host the faltering reigning champions in a midweek round of games in Ligue 1.
The Italian was appointed by Monaco in 2012 and lasted two seasons in the principality, winning Ligue 2 and leading them to promotion in his first campaign before taking them to second place on their return to Ligue 1.
The disappointment of his departure was soon forgotten as he led Leicester City to their historic Premier League title triumph in 2016 before returning to the French game with Nantes in the summer.
"I have fantastic memories. We were Ligue 2 champions then second in Ligue 1. I often went to see them in the Champions League last year and their project has not changed," said the Italian, who still has a home in the principality.
Monaco head to the Stade de la Beaujoire in need of a boost after a week which saw them eliminated from Europe following a 4-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig and then lose 2-1 at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
That result left Leonardo Jardim's side nine points behind the unbeaten leaders.
"We know it's very difficult against Paris," said Ranieri, whose team lost 4-1 at PSG recently. "They (Monaco) are rebuilding after selling a lot of players. But I am convinced that they will fight for second place with Lyon and Marseille."
Nantes are currently fifth having lost three of their last four matches, while Lyon have moved above Monaco into second on a run of eight league games without defeat.