Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Leicester City could win the Premier League in crazy season

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Jan 2016

Can Leicester win the Premier League title just two years after winning promotion from the Championship?

Can Leicester win the Premier League title just two years after winning promotion from the Championship?

For me this has been one of the most bizarre Premier League campaigns we have ever seen.

Freak results and the underdog triumphing over the big teams is obviously not a new thing.

However, I often look at the fixtures every weekend and think literally anything could happen this weekend.

A bizarre season could just result in a surprise champion and I for one would welcome that result.

Leicester City has become mine and a lot of neutrals second team I would suggest, as they have gone from relegation certainties to title challengers in less than a year.

This season feels like a throwback to times when money was not the main quality needed to challenge at the top of the English table.

Teams would get promoted and challenge at the top of the English top-flight and nobody would bat an eyelid. In recent year’s big money has ruined that fun. Leicester may not have gone from top-flight new boys to title challengers, but last season was their first back in the top-flight.

A fantastic team  

The likes of striker Jamie Vardy and playmaker Riyad Mahrez have received a lot of plaudits this season. However, the old adage of a team being more than the sum of its parts applies to Leicester.

Mahrez and Vardy may have earned most of the credit for the Foxes achievement this season and they have played a big part, but the rest of the team has been superb of late. The team have suddenly found a defensive solidarity.

Captain Wes Morgan and Robert Huth have been very solid, as the Foxes have kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League. It is their defensive displays that have kept them in the title race in the last month or so, as the Foxes have scored just once in their last four top-flight games.

The team spirit created under Nigel Pearson has been built on by Claudio Ranieri and everything about the Foxes seems to be moving in the right direction.

Surprising stars of the top-flight

A strange season has brought unlikely heroes to the attention of the Premier League fans. The likes of Mahrez and Vardy have undoubtedly been two of the stars this season, outperforming the likes of Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero.

Vardy has struggled with injury of late but is still the joint-top scorer in the English top-flight this season. Mahrez has also found the net 14 times in the Premier League and been one of the top performing midfielders in English football.

The pair’s poor form has gone slightly off the boil in recent weeks and that is where the Foxes need other players to step-up their game. If they can, and the pair can recover their top form in the second half of the campaign then the Foxes will continue their good campaign.

Cannot be written-off anymore

The collapse of Leicester’s title challenge has been predicted every week since the start of the campaign, it has not happened yet though. The Foxes recent run of three top-flight games without a win could have led to a collapse.

Instead of collapsing the Foxes then went and claimed a 1-0 at top four rivals Tottenham. The game was a tough one, where a superb rear-guard action and a late goal underlined the Foxes title credentials.

The win, coupled with rivals Arsenal drawing 3-3 at Liverpool, meant the Foxes moved on level points with the Gunners. Only a slightly inferior goal difference is keeping the Foxes from returning to the top of the Premier League table.

The Foxes are now odds of 10/1 to win the Premier League title this season, which would have been unthinkable at the start of the campaign. The Foxes can no longer be written-off just because they do not have any pedigree or have not spent hundreds of millions on assembling their squad.

Ranieri has done an exceptional job at the King Power Stadium and if any other team were in the Foxes current position they would be considered realistic candidates to be crowned champions in May.

Leicester’s unlikely title challenge may ultimately end in failure, but in a season full of shocks and surprises, maybe the biggest surprise could be the destination of the Premier League trophy.

Are people still right to write-off Leicester?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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