They started the season at 5000/1 outsiders. That was enough for most people to completely ignore them as they begun their betting at the start of the season, predictably choosing either Manchester City or Chelsea as their title favourites for the coming campaign.
But Leicester City are now 7/4 title favourites with some bookies and this doesn’t really begin to show their meteoric rise in enough light. It really is an amazing story and one that has completely overshadowed Jose Mourinho’s departure, Pep Guardiola’s appointment and Louis van Gaal’s capitulation.
Last week they swept Manchester City aside at the Etihad Stadium and walked away 3-1 winners. The ease at which they won quickly proved why they are flying at the summit of the Premier League and this was the result that proved too much for the bookies to take, with many of them now making the Foxes favourite for the crown.
Leicester have no European or domestic cup issues to contend with as they continue their fight for the title. They have only 13 games left with the hardest of their games behind them. They have one midweek game against West Brom on March 1, but apart from that, their schedule consists of entirely weekend-to-weekend matches.
Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater have all been brilliant this season and everyone knows it. They’ve been superb and Leicester’s best piece of business in this transfer window was keeping hold of all four, amid strong European interest.
But why would they leave? This is their best chance to win a Premier League winners’ medal and credit needs to be given to all of the Leicester squad for sticking with the team and in their current philosophy.
The reason Leicester can definitely win the league now is because they believe they can. They are confident, happy and full of team-spirit and you only have to watch their direct passing to see why they are getting success.
Their forward line reminds me of Liverpool’s so-close-yet-so-far season in 2014-2015. Liverpool’s success was built upon a solid defence and midfield and simply leaving the rest to Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling. The lightning style of football relies on players knowing each others’ games and letting each other get on with their jobs.
The Leicester squad know their strengths. They know Vardy will score goal after goal, Mahrez will provide assists for days, Drinkwater will spray the ball around, Okazaki will work hard and Kante will break up the play, and that is what will bring them success.
Look at the rest of their fixtures- there are three games against strugglers Norwich, Newcastle and Sunderland and seven games against mid-table sides. Games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea (on the last day of the season) will make the difference.
And whilst City, Arsenal and Tottenham are trekking across Europe in pursuit of European glory, Leicester have time to regroup and recover. They have a smaller squad but that doesn’t matter- it hasn’t been a factor so far.
They’ve beaten Liverpool and Manchester City in recent weeks. If they beat Arsenal this weekend, there is no reason why the Foxes can’t go on and win the whole thing.
Dare to dream Foxes’ fans.