Can Foxes Stun The Premier League Again?

Leicester City

This time last year I predicted that Leicester City would suffer relegation towards the end of the 2015/16 season. Yet in May Claudio Ranieri’s men were actually holding the Premier League trophy aloft at the King Power Stadium.

It was simply a sensational season for the Foxes as they climbed to the top of the English footballing summit and managed to remain there.

Everyone in the squad played their part and they deserved their greatest of outcomes.

But can they do it again?

Well not according to the bookies who have the current champions up as seventh favourites to win the title this time around. For those keen on putting on a bet then keep an eye on the best betting websites of 2016.

A positive for Ranieri and his side is that the player exodus hasn’t really materialised in the way many had predicted this summer.

Star striker Jamie Vardy resisted the advances of Arsenal and he’s priced at 18/1 to finish as the Premier League’s top goalscorer.

Last season’s player of the year Riyad Mahrez is also still at the club, although it’s been claimed that the Gunners could be ready to bid for the Algerian before the transfer window shuts.

The only real departure on the player front has been N’Golo Kante to Chelsea. The holding midfielder was a key performer last term and his constant tackles and interceptions were vital for the Foxes.

The biggest departure could be that of Steve Walsh. The former assistant boss was also the club’s head of recruitment and he spotted a lot of Leicester’s top signings. So his absence could be felt for a few years to come.

But before he left he managed to help the side bring in a few new faces to help the Foxes go again this year.

Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa has come in for a club record £16.5m fee from CSKA Moscow. He has bags of pace, some neat tricks and a bit of power too. His two goals against Barcelona in a recent friendly showed that he has the skill-set to become another great find for the East Midlands team.

Nampalys Mendy’s arrival will be interesting as the former Nice player will be given the task of filling Kante’s shoes in the defensive midfield role. He played in all thirty-eight Ligue 1 games last season and helped secure Nice an unlikely fourth place. Could be ideal for his new club as long as he matches N’Golo Kante’s commitment, desire and workrate.

Polish winger Bartosz Kapustka impressed for his nation at this summers Euros and will hope that he can do the same with Leicester when he gets the chance. Others like Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez have come in to bolster squad numbers.

Last season Claudio Ranieri found a winning formula and stuck with it. That could be harder to find this time around as other sides will see them as a big scalp and they also have the distraction of the Champions League. That elite competition will excite Leicester City players and fans alike but it adds extra energy sapping games to an already busy schedule and the English champions won’t be used to that. So they will need to find a blend that helps them get the best possible results.

Then you take a look at the challengers.

Both Manchester clubs (Man United and Man City) have been re-energised by their new managerial appointments and the players those managers have brought in with them. Chelsea are also starting this campaign with a new boss and they don’t have the distraction of the Champions League. While Arsenal and Tottenham will no doubt come again this time around. Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp could be another team to watch!

So while I don’t think that Leicester City will be near the relegation zone (they are priced at 14/1 to be relegated this season), I do think it will be a near impossible task for them to regain their Premier League title.

I’d imagine that Ranieri and the fans will be happy with getting into the knock-out stages of the Champions League and staying in the top half of the table.

But again what do I know? I had them going down last season!


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