The new Premier League season is just days away, and despite plenty of naysayers saying reigning champions Leicester will struggle, hometown favourite Emily Heskey fancies the Foxes to be mixing it in the top half of the table once again.
After stunning the football world by winning last year’s title by 10 points, Leicester’s underdog heroics have sparked the established order into action like never before.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all welcomed in world-class coaches, while also spending mega bucks in the transfer window, and the Foxes will have a mammoth task ahead to defend their title.
Many column inches have been written this summer suggesting Claudio Ranieri’s charges could be on course for a trying season – some say relegation – as they also deal with Champions League football for the first time.
But Heskey, who made 197 appearances for the east Midlands club, reckons the Foxes will be just fine this season, provided they stick to a tried and trusted formula.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News at the launch of our official partnership with the FA, Heskey said: “A good target for Leicester this season, I think, is a top-eight finish in the Premier League, pushing on for a top six.”
He added: “If they repeat what they did last season, which was to aim for that 40 or 41-point mark, that will help them.
“They can get to that target as soon as possible and then take the rest of the season one game at a time,” the ex-England man told us.
“With the Champions League to contend with too this year, I think that’s what Ranieri and Leicester will do and it worked for them last year.”
In this roller coaster ride, the Foxes find themselves as top seeds for Europe’s biggest club competition, and though everyone is wondering how Leicester will cope, their former striker sees it a different way.
“It’s going to be difficult for Leicester, obviously, as they’ll probably be up against teams who have spent silly amounts of money this summer, so it’ll be hard,” Heskey explained.
“But what will be so interesting this season, is how those European teams deal with the way Leicester play and the assets they possess.”
He added: “The Champions League hasn’t seen a team like Leicester before so it’s going to be interesting to see how opponents try and handle them.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.