Connect in the back of the net

It’s the start of February, 23 games played and on top of the EPL table is a team that managed to confirm their status for this 2015/2016 Premiership season with a late charge for survival the previous season.

After 23 games in the 2014/2015 season, Leicester city were rooted to the bottom of the table with 4 wins, 5 draws and 14 losses, having a total of 17 points. They were in all sort of trouble and were the number one candidates for relegation. They did manage to maintain their Premier League status after a remarkable end of season form saw them finish in 14th position.

On the 13th of July 2015, Leicester announced that Nigel Pearson has been replaced by Claudio Ranieri. The Tinkerman, as he’s often called, comes with the experience of coaching in Spain, England, Italy and France and with the reputation of having managed at top teams in Europe which includes the likes of Parma, Juventus, Roma, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea.

Amongst his trophies accolades includes having won the Intertoto Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Valencia. However, he is yet to win a top division league title. Is that about to change?

With the arrival of Claudio Ranieri, Christian Fuchs, N’Golo Kante, Gokhan Inler and Shinji Okazaki also arrived at the King Power Stadium with Leicester City Player of the Year Esteban Cambiasso departing the club.

 

Dreaming Big

With 15 games left to play, Leicester City fans are dreaming big. There have been impressive performances and impressive records as well.

Chances created           Goal

Scored/conceded

Shot accuracy Set piece goals Average Pass accuracy
2014/2015   170              20/34      41%          5        74%
2015/2016   226              42/26      46%          11        71%

From the above statistics, there has been noticeable improvement compared to last season. Having created 226 chances, which is more than Manchester United’s 182, Leicester City have scored a total of 42 goals with only Man City (45) scoring more.

Of the top five teams however, only Leicester have a low pass completion success rate weighing in with just 74% success.

With the likes of Jamie Vardy, who is having his best season so far by all standards, having scored 16 league goals and scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games leading the line alongside Riyad Mahrez, who has contributed 8 assists and 13 goals, they have been crucial to the Foxes’ impressive run in the EPL.

Summer signing N’Golo Kantè and Daniel Drinkwater have formed a strong midfield partnership with the former having a high ball interception rate and the latter completing the most passes in the team with 841 completed passes and a 78% pass accuracy rate.

Another excellent performer has been Marc Albrighton who has also contributed his own quota creating the highest chances (42), most key passes (36) and also weighing in with 6 assists.

 

Confidence brimming

Going into round 24 matches, Leicester City host Liverpool who won the reverse fixture 1-nil to inflict their second loss of the season. But with only one home league loss this season, a 5-2 loss at home to Arsenal, it will be interesting if Leicester can maintain their lead at the top of the table, with games away at the Etihad and Emirates to follow.

As the race for the EPL title approaches the last few months, much has been said about the strength in depth of the Foxes with defenders Ritchie De Laet and Yohan Benalouane both completing temporary  moves away from Leicester on deadline day while winger Demarai Gray, who signed from Birmingham, has made a decent start to life at the King Power.

On the other hand, midfielder Daniel Armatey has also joined the club while two bids for prime target, Nigeria international Ahmed Musa, failed to convince CSKA Moscow to part with their player.

 

Expectations surpassed

Having spent more days at the top of the table than Spurs have in over 10 years, regardless of wherever Leicester City ends up at the end of the season, they have surpassed their expectations and have given their fans reasons to believe.

They can look forward to better prospects with prize money and a possible European competition as they take each game as the last.

 

Written by Olusegun Towolawi

Follow Olusegun on Twitter @segzeal16

Like O-Posts on Facebook

You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts