Leicester City have a fantastic opportunity of improving their title chances with a home game against Southampton later today.
The Foxes now find themselves four points clear at the top of the table, but with a game in-hand on second-place Spurs, who drew 1-1 at Liverpool on Saturday.
A golden opportunity
If Claudio Ranieri’s side can claim a win over the Saints at the King Power Stadium in Sunday’s early kick-off, then they will be seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table with just six league games remaining this season.
That is a major gap at this point in the season and the title favourites will be very difficult to catch if they do succeed in getting maximum points against Ronald Koeman’s side. That would mean Spurs would have to win most of their remaining games and hope that the Foxes slip-up.
Tottenham were always going to have an up-hill battle to catch Leicester and the game at Liverpool was always going to be a tough obstacle to overcome. They failed and it could cost them dearly in the title race.
Grinding out the wins
Leicester have been praised for their attacking football this season, only Manchester City and Tottenham scored more goals than the Foxes in the top-flight this season. Striker Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been on the receiving end of major praise.
However, in the last few games the Foxes have been grinding out wins in true champions style. The last three wins have come with 1-0 score-lines, so not spectacular, but every win counts and it is those sorts of wins that will probably win the Foxes the title at the end of the season.
The whole team deserves credit for those wins. They have remained solid and offered enough of an attacking threat to still trouble opposition teams. The defence of Danny Simpson, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs have been superb.
It would be fair to say that the unit is definitely better than the individuals in that back four. The likes of Simpson, Morgan and Huth have been on the end of heavy criticism at previous clubs, but have been superb this season for the Foxes.
The central midfielders N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater also need to be praised for Leicester being such a solid unit this season. Both players were rewarded for their good performances with international debuts last week.
The fact that the Foxes have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League games shows just how good defensively the Foxes have been this season.
It has been Leicester’s team spirit, togetherness and mental strength that has kept them in the title race, especially the past three games, where they have faced immense pressure and expectations.
Win against Southampton could prove defining
Leicester heads into today’s clash as 5/4 favourites to beat Southampton and stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table. Their story is no longer a fairy-tale. The Foxes are in sight of winning the Premier League title.
A win over Southampton will not win them the Premier League title, but it could be a defining moment in the campaign, when their title rivals lose hope of catching Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Leicester’s Italian boss Ranieri deserves so much credit. The former-Chelsea boss has always carried himself with a certain dignity, despite often being ridiculed rather harshly by the press at times.
If he could guide Leicester to the Premier League title this season then it will be a truly magnificent achievement. He will finally get the reward for a managerial career of toil and effort, without much reward to show for it. He is a nice guy and hopefully this nice guy will finish first.
Southampton arrives in the Midlands in decent form, but the Saints can blow hot and cold at times. They will not be easy opponents, but they are not unbeatable either and the Foxes will go into this clash very confident of a victory.
This Premier League season has been an extraordinary one and it is all thanks to the team of underdogs from the Midlands. I for one would be absolutely delighted to see Leicester move one step closer to the Premier League title later today.
It was about time money and profile was kicked up the backside and football won out in the Premier League. Good luck Leicester!
Can Leicester stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table?