Leicester Team Guide: Foxes have enough flair to avoid drop

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Team Name: Leicester City

Manager: Nigel Pearson

Last Season: 1st (Champions of the Championship)

Who they’ve signed so far: Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa, free), Jack Barmby (Manchester United, free), Ben Hamer (Charlton Athletic, free), Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion, £7.5m), Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion, free), Louis Rowley (Manchester United, free)

Out of the exit door: Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers, free), Lloyd Dyer (Watford, free), Ben Frempah (Ross County, free), Marko Futacs (Mersin I.Y, free), Paul Gallagher (Preston North End, loan), George Taft (Burton Ablion, free), Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic, free), Zak Whitbread (Derby County, free), Sean St Ledger (released), Kevin Phillips (retired).

Star Man: Danny Drinkwater

OK, we could’ve just as easily plumped for the son of the great Dane, Peter Schmeichel. But while Kaspar is doing pretty well at carving out his own successful career between the sticks he’s not quite made the cut in our guide.

Why? Step forward, Danny Drinkwater. The ex-Manchester United midfielder has gone on to superbly forge his own path in the game and avoid being typecast as just another player who didn’t quite make it at Old Trafford.

Rather than drift into obscurity, 24-year-old Drinkwater has made himself the heartbeat of this Leicester team.

The pass-master averaged 66 passes per game from 45 starts last season with a successful completion rating of 82.6%, while creating 62 chances for his team-mates.

DrinkwaterSticker

Under the Radar: Anthony Knockaert

Keep an eye out for former Guingamp wideman Anthony Knockaert this season.

This boy can play and isn’t afraid of showcasing his Gallic flair (check out his 2012-13 Goal of the Season against Huddersfield below).

Replete with a box of tricks and a wicked shot, the 22-year-old Frenchman Knockaert looks poised to make a splash in the Premier League.

With a total of 16 goals in 95 appearances so far for Leicester, make sure you keep an eye out for the tricky winger.

Watch Anthony Knockaert score a stunning brace in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield!

Team Liability: Marc Albrighton

How do you solve a problem like Marc Albrighton? Nigel Pearson will be hoping he has the answer having taken the former England under-21 international to Leicester from Aston Villa.

The 24-year-old made an impressive start to his career with his boyhood club, emerging as an exciting midfield talent in the 2009-10 season.

However, injuries and poor form in recent years eventually led to his release from Villa Park this summer.

Although he’s obviously been brought in for his Premier League experience, it may not be Albrighton who leads this side to the next level.

Title Odds: 5,000/1

Best Bet: Top Promoted Club @ 11/10

Our Verdict: There seems to be a general consensus amongst football tipsters and pundits alike that Leicester will just about manage to keep their heads above water this season.

The club’s current signings might not get too many of the King Power faithful jumping out of their seats at present.

But the squad’s overall balance, combined with the aura of success boss Pearson carries in this part of the East Midlands, should see the Foxes avoid an early return to the second tier.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.