Christmas 2014 and Leicester City found themselves rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League under the management of Nigel Pearson. 14 months later and they find themselves top of the table and 5 points clear under the management of Claudio Ranieri. With Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal hot on their heels, it’s fair to say that this could be one of the most exciting and dramatic seasons we have ever experienced.
Above: Barclays Premier League Table at Christmas 2014
Looking at the these final 8 or 9 games (some teams have games in hand due to FA Cup commitments) it’s clearly evident that Leicester have quite a tough run-in. Every match is a must win game with Tottenham and Arsenal ready to pounce should Leicester drop points. Their away form has been very good this season having played 15 games on the road, winning 9, losing 2 and scoring 28 goals in the process shows why they really are title contenders. They also have tough away trips to Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Chelsea and tricky home clashes against West Ham and Everton to come, it’s clear why some people have their doubts over Leicester winning the title although having lost once in their last 12 league games and three times all season, their form shows why they could prove their doubters wrong.
One of the main things that amazes me about Leicester’s successful season is the value of their squad. A lot of money is injected into clubs these days in order for them to buy and attract the hottest properties in world football so that they can be successful in their domestic league and also in European competitions but for Leicester this is quite the opposite. After spending very little in the transfer window, Leicester might have struck gold after finding what could arguably be the best strike force this season in Riyad Mahrez (bought for £400,000) and Jamie Vardy (bought for £1 million). With Mahrez’s trickery and assists and Vardy’s pace and goals, they have powered Leicester to the top of the table and become a force to be reckoned with.
As each game goes by, a fair tale dream is looking more and more realistic for Leicester City but can they hold their nerve till the very end or will they crumble?