Leicester on the brink of historic title
March 26, 2016
One year ago Leicester City were embroiled in a fierce battle to remain in the Premier League as they were rooted to the bottom of the table.
Under the tenure of Nigel Pearson the Foxes produced a miraculous escape by winning seven of their last nine fixtures to finish six points clear of the relegation zone in 14th place.
The club was involved in an off-the-field incident during the summer, which resulted in the sacking of Pearson and Claudio Ranieri was brought in to replace him at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester made minimal additions to their squad, with Robert Huth making his loan move permanent from Stoke City, while N’Golo Kante, Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki.
As a result of their struggles in the previous campaign and their lack of activity in the transfer market, the Foxes were widely expected to fight relegation to the Championship once again.
No one could anticipate that Ranieri’s men would launch an assault for the Premier League title and shake up the landscape in the top flight, with a remarkable run to put them on the brink of the crown.
The goals of Jamie Vardy have been crucial to their success as the 29-year-old has notched 19 goals in the Premier League as the time of writing and solidifying his place in the England squad ahead of Euro 2016.
Vardy has failed to fire in front of goal for the past five matches and the Foxes will be hopeful that he can regain his scoring touch while on international duty to guide his side to the title.
Vardy could be a good option for the first goalscorer bet for the Three Lions against Germany with odds of 5/1 as he aims to return to peak form, with seven history-defining matches ahead of him with Leicester.
The Foxes began their march towards top spot with an emphatic win over Sunderland followed by an away victory against West Ham United to continue their fine form from the last campaign.
Leicester maintained their steady form and they did not taste defeat until the last week of September when Arsenal produced a fine display to secure a 5-2 win at the King Power Stadium.
The loss would not deter the Foxes and they surged past the Gunners into top spot courtesy of a 10-match unbeaten run, which included a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Chelsea.
They hit a slight bump in the road in the Christmas/New Year period as they fell to defeat against Liverpool, while failing to beat Manchester City and Bournemouth in their home matches.
However, since January, the Foxes have lost just once and staked their claim for the crown with key victories over Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Over the past month a dream has become reality as their backline has picked up the strain from Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to do just enough to keep them ahead of the chasing pack following a run of determined 1-0 victories over teams in the bottom half of the league.
Leicester are now five points clear of second-place Spurs and only need to keep their nerve in the final seven matches of the season to secure their first top-flight title.