We all know Leicester’s incredible Premier League success will be tough for any aspiring team to match, but we’ve pinpointed five factors which suggest Sunderland could be ready to follow in the Foxes’ footsteps.
Whichever way you look at it, Leicester’s 5000/1 success was simply unfathomable this time last year.
The club had just parted company with the manager who kept them up, after a situation involving three players’ shenanigans in Bangkok.
In came Claudio Ranieri, recently sacked by Greece after losing to the Faroe Islands, and the Foxes seemed doomed. But of course, the rest is history.
So before you jeer us, hear us out as we reveal five reasons why Sunderland are a carbon-copy (near enough) of Leicester’s situation 12 months ago…
Last season’s form
Under Sam Allardyce, Sunderland lost just one of their final 11 games of the season to complete an unlikely escape from relegation.
Just 12 months earlier, Leicester achieved the same result after losing one of their final nine fixtures.
Now we know the contexts are incredibly different, but just like Leicester a year ago, Sunderland go into the season with a new manager, in this case, David Moyes.
And like Ranieri, Moyes is out with a point to prove following a difficult few years.
A British core
Much of Leicester’s success can be put down to a hard-working and talented core of Brits, including Andy King, Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy.
Sunderland can boast that too, in Jack Rodwell, Lee Cattermole and Billy Jones.
Home to rejuvenated careers
Just like Leicester turned around the careers of Marc Albrighton and Danny Simpson, among others, so Sunderland have done the same with Jermain Defoe.
Few expected much of the ex-Tottenham man when he joined the Black Cats in 2014, but 15 goals last season proved everyone wrong.
Happy to give non-league talent a chance
For Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, read Sunderland’s Duncan Watmore.
The forward was signed from Altrincham in 2013, and after a couple of years working on his game, burst into the first-team this season, making 23 league appearances.
Chipping in with three goals, while also graduating in economics and business management last year, Watmore could really kick on with a season of experience to call upon.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.