Thursday, August 13, 2020

Leicester top-four contenders on current form

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Sep 2019

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Much was said at the beginning of the season about a chance for an unfamiliar name to appear in the top-six this season. The likes Everton, Wolves and even West Ham all looked like potential candidates to wreck the status quo at the top of the Premier League table. However, one team seemed more likely than others, that team is Leicester City. The Foxes continued their impressive start to the campaign in a 5-0 demolition of ten-man Newcastle on Sunday.

The win means that Brendan Rodgers side is currently third in the Premier League table, just two points behind reigning champions Manchester City in second place.

Leicester a chance for Rodgers to prove himself

For so much of his managerial career, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has been a highly-rated coach. However, a poor time at Liverpool a few seasons ago nearly wrecked his managerial career altogether.

Rodgers came closer than any other Liverpool boss to winning the title, until current incumbent Jurgen Klopp anyway. The problem the Northern Irish had was that he came across as arrogant, so his perceived failure on Merseyside lead to derision from the media and fans alike.

However, Rodgers career recovered with a trophy-laden few seasons at Celtic. The former Swansea boss was always going to return to the English Premier League with a point to prove. If he came guided Leicester into the Champions League for only the second time in their history, then it will be a sign that he does have the managerial acumen he showed earlier in his career.

A good mix in his team

Rodgers in many ways is lucky to have come into a Leicester at a time when there is such a talented team. There is a very good mix of young players and more experienced pros, and at the moment it is working superbly well for the Foxes.

The likes of Youri Tielemans, Ben Chilwell and James Maddison look to have bright futures. If they can help to guide the Foxes into the top-six or even the top-four, then the team from the Midlands will stand a far better chance of keeping their best players for longer.

The likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans and Jamie Vardy provide the experience in a young and vibrant Leicester team. No doubt their experience will help the younger players develop, as all three have been through the trials and tribulations that football has to offer.

Top-four finish is not out of the question

Leicester are currently outsiders for a top-four finish at odds of 4/1. That is not a completely unrealistic aim for Brendan Rodgers team this season. The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea are experiencing what some would call ‘transitional seasons’.

Arsenal are not exactly convincing either, while there are also question marks about Tottenham, with talk that boss Mauricio Pochettino may be on his way out of the club in the near future. There has never been a better time for a team to nip in and grab a Champions League spot.

There have been other seasons were the top-four have looked vulnerable, yet other teams have not taken advantage. For the neutrals, it would be great to see a team break into the top-four and upset the monopoly.

Leicester looks to have a very good starting line-up, who are playing well. The one worry for me about the Foxes is that they may be a bit short when it comes to depth of their squad.

If they can avoid any major injuries, then who knows the Foxes may well just do it. Let’s face it if their title win in 2016 has taught us anything it is never write-off the team from the Midlands.

Can Leicester mount a realistic challenge for a top-four spot?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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