To say that Leicester City is the darling of England at the moment might be the biggest understatement of the season. The team that narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League last season now sits 5 points ahead of Totteneham and Arsenal with 13 matches left. While a new Leicester doubter seems to be disappearing daily, the question begs to be asked: Can Leicester maintain this form until the end of the season?
Leicester has been able to find success off of the counter attack all season long and the match against Manchester City this past weekend was no different. A relatively surprising player really won the match for Leicester in the form of Robert Huth, who scored 2 goals and nearly notched a 3rd to record a hat trick against Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez, who has starred all season long, banged in the first goal from a cheeky little run and pure strike to beat the City defense. Vardy has gone quiet for what we saw from him earlier in the season, while Kante has dominated every opponent he has faced in the middle of the park. It’s clear the players believe that they can do it and when one player goes quiet, it seems one or two more steps up and becomes the difference. This unexpected depth has created problems for their title rivals all season. For a team that set a goal just to survive in the Premier League another season, it’s great to see the team fight for the very attainable title.
Maintaining form is one of the hardest things to do in the EPL. With some of the most high profile teams in the world right on their tail, one slip up could be disastrous for Leicester. However, their main title rival could shockingly become Tottenham. Manchester City is still in 4 competitions. That’s right FOUR. City are still fighting for the Champions League, they play a huge Capitol One Cup final against Liverpool, the FA Cup, and, of course, the Premier League. This overloaded schedule could cause City to falter in the EPL once the cluster of fixtures picks up. Arsenal is still playing in the EPL, Champions League, and the FA Cup so their schedule could also become very clustered in the coming months depending on how the squad does. Tottenham is also still kicking in the Premier League, FA Cup, and the Europa League. Leicester only has the Premier League to play for. This presents an opportunity to put out a fully fit squad every game for the rest of the EPL campaign. It all also forces Tottenham, Arsenal, and Man City to make choices of what is more important for the remainder of the season. This is shaping up to be a fantastic finish to a fantastic EPL season.
All that being said, it is looking like if Leicester can avoid any injuries and keep focus on the task ahead, we could be calling this squad, the Champions of England in May. I know that sounds crazy, but anyone that said Leicester would even finish in the top 10 sounded crazy before the season started.
Leicester takes on Arsenal this weekend in a crucial match, while title contenders Manchester City and Tottenham square off in what could be the title-defining weekend come May.
Recent posts in EPL