Just last month, all the focus seemed to be on whether Leicester and Manchester City could hang onto the coattails of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the title race.
Fast forward to the present day and it seems much has changed. Thanks to a Boxing Day defeat at home to Liverpool – and the manner of how The Reds dominated in that 4-0 thrashing – The Foxes’ focus now must be on keeping their place in the Premier League’s top four.
Liverpool lead Leicester at the top of the table by 13 points with the luxury of a game in hand. Manchester City lie one point further back, in third.
If Brendan Rodgers manages to keep Leicester in the Champions League places then he’s sure to be given some backing in the transfer market in the summer. Leicester may have won the Premier League title back in the 2015/16 season but that is far from the norm of where the club expects to feature in the final league table every May.
Claudio Ranieri’s title-winning season was nothing short of a miracle in footballing terms. Rodgers is hoping to carve his own name into the Leicester City history books in the coming months.
With Manchester City sure to be concentrating 99% of their energy on another crack at the Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s side could well be looking at a third-place finish in the English top flight. They face the mighty Real Madrid in the last sixteen of European football’s top competition.
Domestically, Guardiola’s men still have six games to play against other top-six teams between now and May – two at home and four away. They are also still competing in the FA Cup and League Cup at the moment.
Likewise, Leicester are still competing for honours in the FA and League cups but Rodgers’ team does not have any Champions League football to distract them.
Leicester only have four remaining games against fellow top-six sides in the league – three home and one away.
Judging by that, it seems that not only are Leicester in with a shout of achieving a top-four finish, but they could also pip Manchester City to second place if they manage to avoid injury.
Rodgers has managed with a relatively small squad so far and, as is common knowledge, he does not have the strength-in-depth available to Pep Guardiola. Yet, they’ve managed to do pretty well so far with the players at their disposal.
Jamie Vardy is having another unforgettable season up front. Young stars such as James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi and Ben Chilwell have been pivotal in The Foxes’ rise. Elsewhere, players such as Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira have been playing the best football of their careers to date.
It may seem unlikely but Leicester City might well finish ahead of Manchester City come May.
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