Five reasons Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester can keep up rampant run
Leicester City have surprised a few people this season so far and, while it is still early days into Claudio Ranieri’s reign, the Foxes (7/4 shots with Coral for a top 10 finish) are threatening an exciting campaign.
Currently sat a comfortable third in the Premier League table, having gone impressively undefeated in their first four top tier outings, Roman coach Ranieri has the Midlands men well and truly rocking.
Shocking Sunderland and West Ham United with wins, while also snatching points from Bournemouth and Tottenham, doesn’t quite tell the whole story, as the Foxes, firing on all cylinders, have clocked-up eight strikes already.
This means Ranieri’s men have notched five more than both Arsenal and Manchester United. In fact, they have tallied-up two more than those barren big-guns combined.
Form is temporary, of course, but we reckon the confident King Power club can carry on their superb unbeaten streak, with a very winnable Midlands derby up next against Aston Villa. Here are five reasons why it could be a fantastic weekend for the Foxes…
Rapid Riyad Mahrez
France-born Algeria international Mahrez (11/2 to score first against Villa) is the talk of the town in Leicester, whose fans will be hoping he is not, as is rumoured, on Arsene Wenger’s transfer list.
With four in four so far, the fledgling flank threat has developed a devilish decisive streak, which is bagging his team vital points. If anyone can inspire the attack against Aston Villa, it’s magician Mahrez, whose willingness to run at rearguards and carve out openings has him featuring in many a Premier League fantasy team this term.
In fact, Albrighton, imbued with confidence at the King Power, could be crucial in deciding who takes home the spoils. One of the stars of the Foxes’ season so far, the 25-year-old Englishman has finally come into his own, contributing at both ends of the pitch with energy, determination and delivery.
The debate may rage on about whether Vardy should be included in England squads, but on the pitch is where the Sheffield-born striker, propelled from the lower leagues, responds to critics.
While the electric attacker may not have provided spades of strikes, he is symbolic of Leicester’s passion for the cause, constantly stretching defences and harrying the opposition.
Not just depth, but strength in depth. Leicester were lacking for a large portion of last season, but can now field the likes of Andrej Kramaric in the cups, and afford to have expensive signings such as Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa sat on the bench.
Competition is healthy, and the Foxes now boast this in most areas, with even keeper Kasper Schmeichel kept on his toes by Mark Schwarzer.
This cannot solely be attributed to Ranieri’s influence, as it was previous coaching incumbent Nigel Pearson who brought this team back from the brink of Premier League relegation, and in some style.
Of course, upcoming opponents the Villans are also fellow drop zone survivors, but Leicester are the ones who have responded to all their summer setbacks with nothing less than vigor and verve.