Leicester is a reasonably small team compared with others in the Premier League, but they are a team of surprises and often do really well. They won big in 2016, and this year, they have the ability to finish in the top four if they play their cards right. Of course, a top-four finish would see them in the UEFA Champions League next year, which is a prestigious position that they certainly want to be in.
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Currently, Leicester City is sitting third on the table, and in their last five games, they have won three, lost one and drawn one. However, their remaining games put them up against some very tough sides that they will be hard-pressed to beat. They must face League leaders Man City at home, second-place Manchester United away, fourth place Chelsea away, and fifth-placed West Ham away. These will be their most challenging games to win. Also left on their fixture sheet is Sheffield United at home, West Brom at home, Crystal Palace at home, Southampton away, Newcastle at home and Spurs at home. Their latest win was at Brighton in the 86th minute when Daniel Amartey managed to score. This was a positive finish for the team as Amartey has been injured and has proven that he is back to full fitness. Unfortunately, there are currently eight other players injured, with James Madison and Harvey Baines presently on the bench, and as yet, neither player is fit to return. James Justin will not play again this season as his treatment remains ongoing. Thankfully manager Brendan Rodgers seems to have an excellent handle on things and has managed to shuffle his team creatively to ensure that the missing players are compensated for.
What Could Go Wrong?
It wasn’t the best weekend for the team as Salvia Prague managed to win the match, which put Leicester out of the running in the Europa League and then they lost 3-1 to Arsenal. It is now crucial, but they maximise their points, especially in the games that are looking easy. Last season despite starting out with a good chance of finishing in the top four, they managed to lose or tie crucial games that would have given them the points to remain on track. The tide against Norwich, Watford and Brighton, so it’s great that they have managed to beat them this season, and they were defeated by Bournemouth, which was an absolute travesty and certainly not their finest hour. The next chance they have to rack up the points should be when they host Sheffield United and place them in a stronger position to avoid a trashing and dropping out of the top four.
The loss to Bournemouth is the type of game they must avoid at all costs. They failed to get themselves together as a team, missed crucial passes and attempts on goal, and it was an absolute disaster in terms of playing form that season. Of course, with Man City outstanding, we could see a similar massacre occur, so they will need to guard against negative play when they meet the higher-ranking clubs. This means they need to work hard to keep the team spirit going and minimise their errors.
It certainly seems that they are being plagued with injuries at the moment, and they need to protect their remaining healthy players; otherwise, there could definitely be trouble ahead. Wilfred Ndidi or Youri Tielemans Are two of their most convincing players this season. They need to ensure that Vardy stays healthy as although Kelechi Iheanacho has given an effective performance, they really need the two together to ensure success. Fortunes will need to rest his more senior players when the opportunities arise to do so and bring in some of the youngsters who have had Cup time this season; perhaps Midfielder Sidnei Tavares and right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell Would be good prospects in this situation. They have the FA Cup quarter final to play on March 21st against Manchester United, so that is by number means a guaranteed win, but he should rotate players, and this match is an excellent opportunity.
The match against Chelsea could be difficult as they themselves are on something of a resurgent streak. Still, Leicester City does have a history of taking out the bigger games and coming out on top, so this is something they need to keep pushing towards. Of course, the other clubs that have a shot at finishing in the top four are also going to be honing their teams and pushing hard to try and get as many points as possible. Manchester City looks impossible to catch as they leave the table on 71 points; they have four wins and one loss in their last five matches. Manchester United will be hoping they can hang on to 2nd place, but it is by no means a done deal. In their previous five games, they have won three and drawn two and are currently sitting on 57 points which is just one point ahead of Leicester City. Chelsea is nipping at the heels with 51 points; they have won two of their last five matches and drawn three. West Ham has 48 points, some eight points behind Leicester City, and have won three of their previous five games, losing just two. Their performance seems to be improving slightly, so they will undoubtedly be determined to push their points total as high as possible.