Saturday, October 21, 2017

Leicester City’s transformation extraordinary

Nigel Pearson's Leicester have won four out of their last five games in the Premier League

Nigel Pearson’s Leicester have won four out of their last five games in the Premier League

A few weeks ago the Premier League battle looked very different, with it looking like Leicester would be relegated to the Championship without much fuss.

However, having won four out of their last five Premier League games they are now out of the relegation zone and in with a great chance of surviving.

The Foxes face a home game against struggling Newcastle in the early kick-off today. They will be expected to defeat the visiting Magpies such has been the turnaround in the team’s fortunes in recent weeks.

Controversial

Foxes boss Nigel Pearson has been quite a controversial character this season in the Premier League. The former-Middlesbrough centre-back launched an incredible rant after the midweek defeat against Chelsea and verbally attacked a journalist.

Pearson has been heavily criticised for his behaviour at times, but despite what is regarded as his sometimes brash demeanour he has done an excellent job with the Foxes.

Belief

Pearson has fostered a great belief within his squad and within the club that the team can survive in the Premier League. Even at their lowest ebb this season the Foxes boss was still stating the same Journey mantra of ‘Don’t stop Believin’. Maybe the eighties hit should be the Foxes theme tune!

That belief has never faded and led to some displays earlier in the season that did not necessarily lead to the amount of points that they deserved.

Results

However, prior to their midweek 3-1 defeat against champions elect Chelsea, Pearson’s men had started to pick-up the results they deserved from their performances.

Four straight victories in the Premier League have taken the Foxes a point outside of the relegation zone. They are no longer regarded as the whipping boys of the Premier League. They have given themselves a very realistic chance of surviving to live another day in the top-flight.

Advantage

The Foxes have a slight advantage in that three out of their last four league games are at the KC Stadium. Their only away game is against relegation rivals Sunderland, which could be a deciding game in the season.

The home games against Newcastle, Southampton and QPR are likely to be crucial in the relegation fight. On paper the Foxes have the kindest set of fixtures and in their current form you would not back against them.

Awful

Their visitors on Saturday Newcastle have suffered seven straight Premier League defeats and are just four points above the Foxes in the league table. They are not completely safe from the drop just yet and another defeat would leave the Magpies in big trouble.

Boss John Carver has been heavily criticised and is unlikely to last beyond the summer at the club. He was always the cheap appointment and the club could pay for it with their Premier League status this season.

The Magpies are targeting getting four more points this season, but it is difficult to see where those four points will be coming from. In seasons gone by the Magpies would probably have been favourites to win this game, but at the moment they look like major underdogs to win this game.

Closer

Leicester are favourites to win today’s game at odds of 5/6 and a victory would move them further away from the relegation zone and closer to Premier League safety this season.

A win would take the Foxes four points clear of the relegation zone with just three games remaining this season, although teams around them will also have games in-hand on Pearson’s men.

If Leicester does survive the drop this season then it will have been a major achievement for everybody connected with the club. They started the campaign as one of the favourites to be relegated and for a long time they did very little to disprove that tag.

Momentum

Leicester had built up some good momentum prior to that Chelsea defeat. The Foxes survival could depend on Pearson’s side regaining that momentum picked-up in that winning run.

If Leicester picks up a win today then they will have the momentum to go on and survive the drop this season. At the moment I certainly would not back against the Foxes surviving for another season.

Will Leicester survive the drop this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old 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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