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Leicester Are Playing PREMIER LEAGUE Football

4 minute read Published January 2, 2024

What a Christmas of football. Every team keeps surprising and disappointing. You think United have turned a corner and then they lose in that way to Nottingham Forest. You think Arsenal might just have what it takes this season but then they lose two in a row. You think Manchester City are in a bad spell of form and then they go and win another trophy as well as win two in a row in the league. 

Meanwhile in the Championship, competition is less fierce. Leicester City, look like a shoe in for promotion. The Foxes are taking no prisoners in the Championship and after three wins and a draw in the Christmas games they’re already ten points clear at the top. Ipswich Town and Southampton in second and third have also gained a nice cushion to fourth, seven and six points respectively.

Team Goal Difference Points
Leicester City 36 65
Ipswich Town 15 55
Southampton 15 52
Leeds United 20 48

It seems like last season was only a slump, albeit a big one, in Leicester City’s form. Half way through the season, it’s obvious they’re too good to play in the Championship and especially looking at the teams towards the bottom of the Prem, surely Leicester are a better team.

In fact, if Leicester keep up their average points per game they'll crush the record for highest points tally ever in the Championship.

Team Year Points
Leicester City 23/24 115* (based on 2.5 pts/game)
Reading 05/06 106
Sunderland 98/99 105
Newcastle United 09/10 102

Managerial Change

When Brendan Rodgers was sacked last season and Dean Smith was unable to save the season after being given a short term contract, Enzo Maresca joined as head coach. Leicester City is only Maresca’s second head coach appointment. 

The Italian started his coaching career as an assistant coach in Italy and has done the job at both Sevilla and West Ham. In the 20/21 season he won the league with Manchester City’s B-team which got him his first job as head coach at Parma. However, that stint was short as they failed to perform and Maresca returned to Manchester City, this time as an assistant to Pep Guardiola.

Big summer overhaul

Of course, going down is always going to mean some players will want to leave. The biggest loss was probably James Maddison, the focal point of their attack and the best player on the team for a few seasons. Not only that but out of the five players that led the team in minutes played last season, only one player is left. Harvey Barnes was sold to Newcastle and Söyüncü (yes, copy pasted that), Tielemans, Evans and Amartey all left for free at the end of their contracts.

On the ins then, now being a Championship club with a Championship budget, Leicester had to be smart. While €44 million is a lot, it’s very little to replace all that talent that left in the summer. Harry Winks came in from Tottenham as their biggest signing at just over €11 million. Since then, Winks has been the anchor in the team, playing practically every minute of every game. 

The team's current top scorer, Mavididi, was brought in from Montpellier before the season for just over €7 million and has been a big part of their offensive success. 

Team Effort

But out of the 50 goals the club has scored this season, there has been a wide variety of goal scorers and it’s not just the new additions that contribute. No player has double digits yet and seven players have four or more goals so far. 

Kiernan Drewsbury-Hall has been filling the shoes of Maddison since his departure to Tottenham and has done so very well, sitting second in the internal top scorers race. Just behind Drewsbury-Hall in that race are more familiar faces, Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho. However, the club will have to get by without Iheanacho for a few games as he’s off to play AFCON for Nigeria.

While their goal scoring is impressive, you’d be forgiven for thinking that leaves them open at the back. Think again. In 26 games they’ve only allowed 18 goals, a 0.68 goal per game average which is by far the lowest and best in the league. Only West Brom are below one goal per game average and they’re at 0.98.

Summing up

What’s truly impressive about Leicester City’s season is that they lost half their starting lineup, players that had a huge part in the way that they played last season but managed to put together a new core of players that could carry the team.

One positive with going down it that it let Vardy stay in the starting lineup for another year. The man is still running like a maniac, chasing down every ball, if only for about 65 minutes a game. What a legend for Leicester City.

So far Leicester City have been untouchable and unless something truly unexpected happens it seems very likely that they’ll get the top spot and a promotion back to the top division. Let’s get everyone's favourite underdog back in the Premier League, where they belong.

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