If you’re reading this, you’ll already know that Leicester City produced the greatest upset in footballing history by winning the Premier League last season.
So, what comes next? Can they replicate that success? Are they set to consolidate with a top-six spot? Or will the fairytale have a bittersweet ending?
Ladbrokes News sat down with Scott Davies of Leicester City fan channel 100% LCFC at Ladbrokes’ event to announce our partnership with the FA.
From Community Shield to Champions League, we got Scott’s predictions and betting tips ahead of an exciting season for the East Midlands club.
Ladbrokes News: Lifting the Premier League after that home game against Everton must have been an incredible experience. Tell me about the title run-in, and your memories of that unforgettable day.
Scott Davies: I’ll be honest, between Christmas and the day we lifted the title against Everton, I didn’t really enjoy the games! Obviously, there was a lot of tension during that run-in, but the celebrations on that day were brilliant.
There were great days – so many wins, and only three defeats – but for sheer emotion, none of them came close to that Everton game.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d see Leicester City win the Premier League, so it was somewhat of a surreal feeling. We’ve had some great days at Wembley – winning League Cups and play-off finals, but seeing City lift the Premier League trophy was truly something else. It’s the pinnacle of English football.
LN: Obviously it’s a big ask for Leicester to repeat that feat this season. So what is a realistic target for this season in your view?
SD: A comfortable top-ten finish. I’d like us to be in contention for the Europa League places, even if we don’t quite get one in the end.
I certainly think we’re far too well equipped to get sucked into a relegation battle – and we should be good enough to avoid the bottom half altogether.
One thing I think City fans are also hoping for is a good cup run. Obviously, last season was all about the Premier League, but it would be great to see us lift the FA Cup this time around. It’s the only one of the big domestic three we’ve not won, now!
LN: You’ve mentioned Europe there. The Foxes are heading into the Champions League for the first time this season. Will your style suit that competition? Or the Europa League if you end up in that competition?
SD: We had a bit of a wake-up call about how tough the Champions League can be when we faced PSG the other day and lost 4-0. They’ve spent a huge amount of money, as have quite a few of the other big guns – so we’re the underdogs once again!
However, I think our style of play should allow us to do OK in Europe this season. We’re seeded in the Champions League group stages, so we’ll miss some of the very top sides. And even if there are games where we’re up against it, Leicester can always hit sides on the counter-attack.
We have a good chance of getting through the groups, and maybe causing an upset beyond that – but this side will be under no illusions about the quality of some of the sides we could come up against.
LN: Obviously your big-name stars will be important on that front – the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel spring to mind. But who would you say has been Leicester’s unsung hero during the last year?
SD: I was watching our Season Review DVD last night, and the man who made a vital contribution week after week was Marc Albrighton.
Marc didn’t get a huge amount of credit last season, but he created a lot of chances and his work-rate was absolutely terrific. So he’s definitely my choice for unsung hero!
LN: N’Golo Kante has now left the King Power stadium, but Nampalys Mendy has come in to fill that gap. Are you happy with him as Kante’s replacement, and with Leicester’s business overall this summer?
SD: I think the business has been very good. We obviously highlighted Mendy as a player we wanted early on, even before Kante left the club.
I don’t think he’s quite a replacement in terms of his quality because you’ll struggle to find anyone as good at doing that job. But Mendy will fill the void, and he’s also a bit more of a creative player than Kante, so he looks to be an excellent fit. His qualities will lend itself to the counter-attacking football we play under Ranieri.
LN: On a betting note, if you’re to put one bet on Leicester City this season, what would it be?
SD: I’d back us to go on and win the FA Cup [currently 16/1].
LN: Who’s your favourite ever Foxes player – all-time and present?
SD: All-time has to be Muzzy Izzet. He was a great servant to the club and a fantastic bloke, and he stayed with us through the tough times of being relegated to Division One [the present-day Championship].
Current? I’d have to go with Jamie Vardy. He epitomises the work ethic of Leicester City, and he’s signed on for another four years now, so I’m excited to see more of him in the coming seasons.
LN: And finally, can we have your prediction for the Community Shield game, as Leicester face off against Manchester United?
SD: I’m feeling confident. I’ll go for a 2-1 Leicester win.
It’s 16/5 for a Leicester victory at Wembley on Sunday, with Man United 17/20 favourites and 5/2 for the draw.
And those looking to back Scott’s beloved Foxes for a 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s men can do so at 12/1.
Thanks go to Scott for taking part in this interview. Give his team a follow on Twitter @100Lcfc.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing