Leicester City have become the fairytale club of the English Premier League after the 2015/16 season saw the Midlands transformed into Premier League Champions after the unlikeliest of seasons ended with them celebrating the title. But can the Foxes repeat the trick in 2016/17? Claudio Ranieri joined Leicester ten months before being crowned the Premier League’s least predictable champions in history, but the pieces were in place for a successful season following their dramatic survival under Nigel Pearson.
The 2014/15 season saw Leicester City – who were on the verge of being relegated – mount one of the greatest comebacks English football has ever seen.
Players like Jamie Vardy, Rihad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante lit up the Premier League in 2015/16, with Leicester beginning the season with a 4-2 win against Sunderland. That set the template for the early part of the season, as Leicester surged to the top of the Premier League with a brand of exciting, cavalier football that fans were more used to seeing from teams like Manchester United and Arsenal.
Claudio Ranieri had previously managed Chelsea in the Premier League a decade before, but suddenly had a better chance of winning the title with Leicester. The wily Italian adjusted his side to play on the counter attack, utilizing their pace to hurt teams on the break. Leicester saved energy by doing so and were able to defend better, conceding fewer goals in the second half of the season. A run of five 1-0 victories in six games put the Foxes in pole position, and the football world took notice when they went to Manchester City and thrashed The Citizens 3-1 at the Etihad.
Leicester didn’t just crawl over the line, they sprinted over it, winning almost all of their final dozen games to seal a remarkable title which will stand for decades – if not forever – as the most against-the-odds victories in football history.
Now the plan is to take the Foxes into Champions League showdowns with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and show Europe’s finest that Leicester City have the ability to compete with any team in any competition.
Keeping hold of their best players will be Ranieri’s first challenge. But with Jamie Vardy on a new deal, other players should stick around for at least a season. After all, the Foxes are champions….so why can’t they challenge to win the Champions League?
Best Leicester Betting Lines
The best value with Leicester is always going to be backing them against top clubs. Their stars are famously ‘fearless’, and there’s no reason they can’t upset the odds.
Leicester Season Schedule
Check out all the fixtures below for Leicester City and plot how the Foxes might be able to retain their Premier League title.
Leicester League Standings
Where do Leicester currently sit in the Premier League table? If the Foxes can maintain their 2016 form, they could once again turn a few thousand heads.
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How To Win Leicester Bets
If last season’s odds of 5,000/1 for Leicester City to win the title sound ridiculous, it’s because they are. But with many of the top clubs in transition, an opportunity opened for a historically less successful team to make headlines.
Leicester’s battle for the title was not with a team who had experience of winning a Premier League, but Tottenham Hotspur, a team that hasn’t won the league title for 55 seasons. Having finished the previous season remarkably, Leicester started the 2015/16 season in the same vane.
Can Leicester retain their title in 2016/17? Like everyone else, we don’t think so.
While their accomplishment cannot be understated, it is highly unlikely that lightning will strike twice. But then again, anything can happen in the English Premier League.
Manchester United were a shadow of their former selves under the frankly bizarre stewardship of Louis van Gaal, while Manchester City were waiting for Pep Guardiola to join in the summer. Add to this another mediocre season for Arsenal, Liverpool changing manager and Spurs inability to win more games and you can see how a perfect storm formed for Leicester.
Leicester won’t be 5,000/1 to win the Premier League title ever again but they are still +2200 long shots.
We can see Leicester being a succcess in 2016/17, but that success probably extends to finishing in the top six. Here are some of the best online sportsbooks around.