Benni McCarthy is backing Leicester City to win the Premier League and believes their march for glory recalls his former club Porto’s Champions League triumph in 2003-04.
Claudio Ranieri’s underdogs are five points clear at the summit with nine matches to play in England’s top flight this season.
And ex-South Africa striker McCarthy, who scored four times as Jose Mourinho’s Porto upset the odds to lift European football’s biggest prize more than a decade ago, sees plenty of reasons why Leicester can go all the way.
“I think Leicester are definitely going to win the Premier League because they remind me of when I was at Porto, of us when we were in the Champions League,” he told Omnisport, before reflecting on a dramatic last-16 tie against Manchester United when he netted a brace in the opening home leg.
“Man United was the only game where we were cautious, where we knew what we had to do. We had strict instructions.
“When we got Lyon after we played Man United, it was a tactical game but we knew that individually, when you matched the players up against each other, there was no danger they were going to stop us. We knew.
“On to the next one, we will roll them over and we walk straight on.
“I see a lot of similarities in what Ranieri has done with Leicester. It’s amazing, they really don’t have anything to fear and they should take the positives.
“Ten men against Arsenal and they lost in the dying seconds of the game; you go to Man City, to the Etihad and you give them three.
“For me, they deserve to win the Premier League and it is great for football that teams can do things like that.”
The 38-year-old expects the King Power Stadium dressing room will have curious mix of excitement and apprehension as the season reaches its climax.
“They will be buzzing in the dressing room but of course they will feel the pressure,” he added.
“That’s all you seem to hear about these days, ‘Is this going to be the greatest upset in Premier League history’.
“So as a player you cannot ignore these kind of things. I think they will be c***ping themselves in that dressing room but they will also be buzzing.”
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