Can back in-form Foxes fight back to beat Premier League trap door?
Leicester City, now odds-on at 10/11 with Coral to beat the drop, may still be propping up the Premier League, but their unlikely survival bid has been significantly buoyed by two Premier League triumphs on the trot.
Do the once floundering Foxes still have enough left into the tank to salvage their season? An upcoming clash against Swansea City, which they are 11/10 to win, could well prove crucial, as they now sit just three points from safety.
King Power Stadium coach Nigel Pearson certainly seems to think his Foxes have a fighting chance, stating: “It’s still going to be very, very hard for us but we are capable. We’ve not won ugly enough but I do think the players have given everything they have.
“The bottom line is that we’ve got eight games left and we need to get as many points as possible but there is an air of confidence about the place,” added the ex-Hull City gaffer.
Leicester City hierarchy’s almost unwavering support for Pearson may yet prove decisive, as the Midlands club bucked the trend of sackings to stand by their man. It is far too late to be pointing the finger and, as the Foxes fight fine margins, lady luck seems to be turning their way again.
With no more transfer windows in which to tinker, how can lacklustre Leicester keep pace with the rest of the pack?
After a run of eight games without victory, Pearson appears to have successfully changed tack, as the once frugal Foxes have fired home eight times in their last three outings.
Forgotten men David Nugent and Jamie Vardy have both stepped up to strike twice apiece in their past three appearances, outshining flashier forward signings such as Leonardo Ulloa and Andrej Kramaric, who both began brightly before going off the boil.
Pearson certainly needs his poachers in prolific form during squeaky bum time, but, despite the array of attackers jostling for a starting spot, the Foxes boss should instead look to an experienced Argentinian to save his side.
While the Foxes’ fresh all-out attacking philosophy is beginning to pay dividends, their rickety rearguard is also being exposed to greater risk. Conceding seven in three sounds like relegation fodder form, but Leicester managed to ride their luck with respective wins against West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion.
Enter Esteban Cambiasso, who sparked Leicester’s surprise revival by striking the first blow to the Hammers. The former Inter Milan midfield general has the nous to help shield defence as well as spur the Foxes forward and is 7/2 to net anytime against the Swans.
While promising players such as Riyahd Mahrez may provide the sparkle, it is the solidity of Cambiasso that will see them through. Used to playing in high stakes games for club and country, Cambiasso is the likeliest leader to emerge from Leicester’s ranks.
In the Foxes’ favour, they are still to play relegation rivals Burnley, Sunderland and QPR, but the King Power needs to pull together to navigate duels with Southampton and Chelsea, with Person calling for fans to stand up and be counted.
Following a raucous reception against West Ham, the contentious coach told press: “That is quite unusual, really, to have so many people talking about how good the atmosphere was. That is something we have to replicate because it really did make a difference.”
Having been rock bottom since November, Pearson’s men have now been thrown a life jacket in their bid for survival, and the Foxes boss must utilise the far from shabby squad at his disposal to repay fans for their recent show off faith.