In the summer of 2016, Leicester City created history by winning the Premier League title – against all odds, with some bets as big bets as big as 5000/1 being cashed in. Under the stewardship of the charismatic Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes did the unthinkable, knocking the ‘bigger teams’ well and truly off their perch.
Over 4 years on and the Premier League landscape has developed even more, Liverpool are now one of the major players in title races and the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are always in the mix too. However, with 8 games played this season, it is Leicester City who find themselves top of the league once more and we ask... Could they do the unthinkable again?
A huge part of the success Leicester enjoyed during the 2015/16 season was their team ethic. Shots of Jamie Vardy and co. having a party was commonplace on social media at the time and Claudio Ranieri created a real siege mentality at the club. Stability came in the form of N’Golo Kante with flair coming in abundance from Riyad Mahrez and goals being thumped in by the aforementioned Vardy, made Leicester a tough nut to crack.
This season they look to have many of the same hallmarks within their squad. Vardy is as potent as ever whilst Wilfred Ndidi is proficient in midfield. Young English talent has also come to the fore at the King Power Stadium with James Maddison and Harvey Barnes both integral to their plans and they look to have one of the hottest prospects in world football at the back in Wesley Fofana.
Brendan Rodgers moved to Leicester at the start of 2019 following a hugely successful period at Celtic, where he picked up 7 trophies. Opinion of Rodgers south of the border however has always been mixed. Few could forget the incredible side he forged at Liverpool, with the likes of Luis Suarez banging the goals in for him but the way in which the reds crumbled in their pursuit of glory in 2013/14 has always been a blotch on his copybook.
Rodgers likes his sides to press in high areas and counter quickly–a tactic also used by Liverpool and Manchester City. Historically, Rodgers’s sides have struggled to keep clean sheets and he will need to ditch that stereotype if Leicester are to go all the way this season.
How far can they go?
With 18 points from just 8 games played, Leicester have made an almost perfect start to the Wins on the road at Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds have underlined their potential but home defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa have exposed a chink in their armour. Leicester finished 5th last season, narrowly missing out on Champions League football and they will be hoping to be competing for honours in the Premier League come next May.