Leicester City find themselves in a strange position right now, balancing Champions League football with a relegation battle. And while supporters may argue that this isn’t the case, one win in nine Premier League outings would suggest otherwise.
For starters, 13 points from 14 games this time out is two points fewer than they achieved the last time they were booted out of the division back in the 2003-04 campaign
Retaining their title is completely out of the question now, as Claudio Ranieri’s men are some 21 points off league leaders Chelsea.
Instead, maintaining their top-flight status has to be their priority this year, as they sit rather uncomfortably in 15th-place – just two points ahead of the relegation zone and four off the bottom.
Seeing their relegation odds fall from 40/1 to just 10s in just four weeks tells you all you need to know about Leicester’s form of late. Following the international break, they were gifted a generous trio of fixtures against Watford, Middlesbrough and Sunderland – yet managed to pick up just one point from those matches.
So where are things going wrong?
It’s worth noting that last year’s top scorer, Jamie Vardy, hasn’t found the net since early September, while Riyad Mahrez is a mere shadow of the player he was last season, relying largely on penalties to bulk his goal tally up to seven for the season in all competitions.
And perhaps Ranieri has been guilty of throwing all of his eggs into the Champions League basket.
In fact, their form in Europe is completely different to that in the league. Of their opening five group games, the Foxes have won four and drawn one, conceding just a single goal in the process.
But, in concentrating solely on the Champions Lerague, Ranieri in great danger of seeing his side ply their trade in their Championship next season – especially when you consider that sides below them are beginning to find their feet now.
They could see themselves even further down the table come close of play on Monday night, too.
Middlesbrough host Hull City, where just a point for the home side would see them leapfrog Leicester on goal difference, while three points for Mike Phelan’s men would see them climb out of the relegation zone and above the east Midlands outfit into 15th.
What do you think? Could we be looking at another crazy season for the Foxes? Or can Ranieri turn things around at the King Power Stadium?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing