Going into the EPL season last year, no one would have dreamed that a club outside of the Big Five could possibly win the title, while teams like Tottenham or Everton seemed destined to combat for the Europa League spots. Leicester City, on the other hand, was not even on the map when talking about such predictions.
As the season went on, however, Leicester City kept pushing forward with Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and the crew sending one team after another home in tears. Some months later, it was Leicester City raising the trophy with all the “big” clubs left in dust, literally miles behind.
We entered the summer with the assumption that all the major players of Leicester will be leaving the club, but with the new season just about to start, N’golo Kante is the only notable player to have left the club and the rest of the team is left basically intact.
That said, there are still a few weeks to go until the transfer period is over and we can expect clubs to keep trying to sign the likes of Riyad Mahrez. The real question is, what can Leicester City do this season even if all their players stay at the Kingpower Stadium?!
Looking back at the last season, it is easy to say that one of the main reasons for Leicester City’s success was the failure of the bigger clubs to live up to the expectations and provide the kind of form that we have grown accustomed to from them. However, even if this is the case, Leicester were the only one of the “lesser” clubs to take advantage of this and capitalize on the poor form of others. If the only reason for Leicester’s success was the poor form of other clubs, why didn’t Everton or Stoke join the title race and why did Tottenham fall short.
In reality, Leicester City won the league fair and square by playing some excellent offensive and even better defensive football throughout the season and being able to maintain the high form at the end of the season, which was a crucial period. Sure enough, the titans did fail but Rainieri’s side truly left their heart and soul on the pitch week in, week out.
This season looks to be quite a bit different, as the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have spent hundreds of millions of Pounds to reinforce their squads in both management and playing staff. We are in for an excellent season without a doubt and it seems everyone has already dismissed Leicester as a side that can even battle for the top spots on the table, which surely seems a bit unrealistic.
The bookies are laying 28/1 on Leicester City winning the league again and fair enough, it is hard to see Vardy and the guys repeat last season’s success this year in a much stronger Premier League but the 9/4 on them being in the top six at the end of the year may seem very unfair to those who hold Leicester close to their hearts, given the form they showed last season and even after watching their Community Shield duel against Manchester United which saw Mourinho, Ibrahimovic and the gang win but not with ease. You can track all the odds for outright winners of the league over at OpenOdds with the odds changing in real time.
Can Leicester City make it into the top six or even top four in such a stiff competition or will the giants actually rise and give us another EPL season similar to those we were used to not that long ago? It remains to be seen, but if there is one thing last year thought us is that football is not a game easy to predict and there is no amount of money that can substitute for desire and motivation in this sport.