Since Leicester City’s title win last season, and Jamie Vardy’s infamous party, the Foxes have been suffering something of a hangover.
On their way to the title, the champions lost just three league games all season. This time around they’ve already lost four. Each defeat, however has come away from home, as Claudio Ranieri’s side have not yet lost on their home turf. The only time this season they’ve been turned over at the King Power stadium came in the EFL Cup, and even then it was in extra time.
It may be that Leicester have found their level in the league after their unlikely triumph last season. Or it may be that Ranieri has been keeping his powder dry for the European adventure his team find themselves on. The truth is probably somewhere in between: they were never going to be able to repeat last season’s heroics, whilst player rotation and extra games probably haven’t helped their cause.
Last weekend, however the good home form returned. Beating Crystal Palace 3-1 doesn’t necessarily prove much, of course – the Premier League champions should probably be expected to produce such a result – but the manner of the victory was encouraging. The performance matters.
And it was the Foxes’ best league performance of the season, by all accounts. Data from FanDuel shows that it was probably their best by quite some distance, in fact. FanDuel will match your first deposit all the way up to £400, so if you think that Tottenham will beat the champions this weekend, it might be time to set up a team.
One swallow doesn’t make a summer, and Leicester have been solid at home without being spectacular, but this does feel just that little bit different: having all but ensured their passage through to the next round of the Champions League, it’s surely time for Ranieri to start focusing on league form, and the performances from multiple players in the Palace game suggest that might be the case.
The next game, though, is a trip to white hart lane to face a Tottenham side who are genuine title contenders and whom the Foxes beat to the trophy last season. You don’t really expect much from Leicester in this game, not with another European game on the horizon.
So have Leicester turned a corner, the answer is probably not yet. But after the Tottenham game, and if they can get the result they need for champions league knockout round qualification on Wednesday night, then that then they probably will.
It may not mean much just yet, but the palace performance shows Leicester can turn it on when they want to.
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