It did not seem like it last season, nor did Leicester City make us believe they can do it based on their start of 2019/20 season, but as we got deeper into this Premier League season, the Foxes made many people speculate whether they can repeat their 2015/16 season and claim the prestigious EPL title. But can Brendan Rodgers repeat what Claudio Ranieri achieved four years ago and bring the English title back to Leicester for the second time in the club’s history?
There is a lot that goes into producing a title-winning season and one of the most crucial things that can help any team achieve that is, of course, good form. Come to think about it, solely good form is not enough. The team needs to display superb form throughout the whole season, producing as few mistakes as possible to get an edge over the remaining 19 teams and looking at Leicester, they are without a doubt one of the teams that have done just that thus far. At the end of the day, it would be hard to say otherwise, seeing how they are entering round 15 with a 10-2-2 record, all eight of their wins coming from their last 10 EPL fixtures.
That said, what made Leicester appear in talks about the EPL title was their win against Everton. Scratch that, their dominant win against Everton who have found themselves descending in a downright spiral. For the second time in the last few days, Everton put up a dispiriting performance last Sunday at King Power Stadium, where they lost to Leicester 2:1. Whether was it Everton who severely underperformed or Leicester who were simply a far superior team is up to debate, but one thing is for sure; Leicester won their 10th match of the season, which catapulted them to the second spot in the league, where they sit with 32 points apiece and eight points less than leader Liverpool. While closing the gap of eight points is by no means a walk in a park, Leicester’s impressive form in the last 10 league fixtures makes you start to think… Can they repeat their 2015/16 season?
As we look back in the past, the 2015/16 EPL season still feels slightly unreal, and in some ways it was. That year Leicester did not win the EPL title by forging some genius plan or using a super strategy to defeat their opponents. Instead, it was a weird cocktail of unexpected events that helped them achieve the “impossible”. Players no one took much notice off had their moments, or shall we say weeks/months of brilliance where they played like the elite players, and then there were disastrous mistakes from other English teams who had a good chance to finish above Leicester but failed to do so. No matter how Leicester got to their first EPL title, they still did it and some believe they could be on the verge of doing it again.
They might, but this time it will be different. Unlike what happened in the 2015/16 season, Brendan Rodgers has different plans compared to what Ranieri had. He is looking to build a team that will not only contest the top spots this season. Rodgers is looking to build a team for the future, with strong core and players who will make sure the Foxes will remain as one of the title contenders for years to come. But what about this season?
Objectively looking, Leicester are more than capable of making something happen this year. At the end of the day, they are “only” eight points shy of reaching Liverpool, who if we don’t count their dominant win over Man City two weeks ago, had some games where they were lucky to walk away with points, leading us to believe even Klopp’s men have a weak spot and are not immune to dropping the ball. While we talk points, we could address, Leicester have 32 points ahead of the 15th round of EPL, which is one more compared to their 2015/16 season. It’s something we will hear time and time again as the main reason why Leicester could win the EPL title once more, but we can’t simply disregard the points of their opponents. Yes, they might have one point more compared to four years ago, but back then, we had Man City and Arsenal leading the league with 26 points apiece, and now we have Liverpool who is leading the league with 40. I guess what we are trying to say here is that you can be better than you were in the past, but to win the title, you have to be better than anyone else.
So to end this rant, we will return back to the initial question: Can Leicester win the EPL title?
All things considered, they can, but they are just as like to come short. While they have produced a very solid record thus far in the season, they still have 24 more rounds to go, and should they keep up the tempo and should Liverpool fail to play at the pace they set themselves up for, Leicester are without a doubt a title contenders. That said, it will be crucial for the Foxes to win their upcoming five fixtures against Watford (H), Aston Villa (A) and Norwich (H), following which they will clash with Man City, which should paint a clearer picture of Leicester’s true power and ultimately their chances to lift the trophy once more.