Are we still calling Leicester’s season a fluke?
Leicester City is meeting Chelsea in the Premier League this Monday, and if you had tried to tell anyone some 15 weeks ago that the Foxes would be firmly at the top of the League and the Blues would only occupy the 14th place, well, frankly not a soul would have thought it was plausible. And yet, here we are.
A lot of people argue that Leicester hasn’t had to face enough tough opponents yet – which does bring up a fair point to the table. Their only loss was a 2:5 vs Arsenal, and then both Man United and Tottenham concluded in 1:1, with most of the teams beaten being middle or bottom dwelling.
The upcoming match against Chelsea, however lackluster the latter has been lately, should be one of the first markers to indicate whether this impressive achievement was highly dependent on a successful schedule. After that, Week 18 and 19 will bring games against Liverpool and Man City respectively, which should clear up any doubts that may still linger.
However, nine wins, five draws, and only one loss in 15 weeks of the League is not something that can be completely written off as just a fluke. Leicester City must have gotten something right, and it seems like one of these rights came in a form of Jamie Vardy, who has just been named Premier League Player of the Month.
With 14 goals in 15 appearances, the English striker has certainly made a name for himself. The only other player that comes anywhere close to him in scoring is the midfielder Riyad Mahrez with 10 goals in 14 games – apart from them, not a single teammate scored more than two goals. It‘s safe to say that these two getting injured would probably bring the whole campaign down.
While keeping up a performance like this for 15 consecutive weeks is certainly more than a lucky streak, there were a few things that definitely helped with that. Namely, three of the toughest opponents are yet to come, the squad has been relatively healthy, and energized by a surprise leader.
The only thing to do now is wait. Even though Leicester is #1, Chelsea are still regarded as favorites in their upcoming clash by the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet who has given the Blues the odds of 143/100 at winning. The Foxes are not that far behind though with 21/10 – and who knows, maybe they may just go ahead and win the entire League. Wouldn’t that be something!
Sources: premierleague.com / espnfc.us