Nobody expected Leicester City to mount a serious title challenge for the second season in a row. But relegation? Few of us had predicted this one…
And following today’s King Power Stadium collapse against Manchester United, Claudio Ranieri’s men are now the shortest price they’ve ever been for the drop at 9/4.
Four Premier League defeats in a row is something the Foxes haven’t experienced for two years.
But even more worrying for the east Midlands outfit is the fact their rivals at the bottom of the table have all been picking up points.
We thought Hull City were doomed, then they brought in Marco Silva who looks to have turned their fortunes around.
We thought Sunderland were relegation certainties, but they’re now doing what they’ve done every year at this stage of the season – mounting a fight.
We expected Swansea to crumble in a campaign which has already seen them have three faces in the dugout – but Paul Clement is turning the Welsh outfit into the Swans of old, hard to break down and dangerous on the counter attack.
We didn’t think Sam Allardyce could keep Crystal Palace afloat, but he’s brought in a whole host of players capable of helping his side climb up the table.
They weren’t prepared for this – quite the opposite in fact.
None of their signings this season have any experience of a relegation dogfight. And that’s exactly what they’re in right now.
And for the sixth time this season, they’ve conceded three or more goals.
To put that into perspective, it happened just once last campaign, and we’ve still got 14 games to play.
Still yet to win away from home this campaign, the Foxes have picked up just five points in the league since their remarkable victory over Manchester City back in early December.
And the tough fixtures just keep on coming for the side now just one point above the drop zone.
Up next is a trip to the Liberty Stadium, who know a win will see them leapfrog their opponents.
After that they’ll welcome Liverpool to the King Power, a side that managed to put four past them last time they met.
Then it’s a trip to the Emirates, where they’ll face an Arsenal side with a point to prove, and that’s followed by the visit of a resurgent Hull City.
The way Leicester are playing right now, they’ll be lucky to pick up a point from any of those games.
And there’s a handful of punters who’ll be waiting to cash in on Leicester’s misfortunes, as they’re by far and away the most backed side for relegation this campaign.
No manager’s position in modern day football is safe anymore – even if you’ve won the league with a team of 5000-1 outsiders.
Yep, Ranieri is now just 2/1 to leave his post before next season begins.
Could you imagine reading that back in the summer?
With Chelsea running away with the league, all eyes will be on the bottom of the table.
And with the pressure well and truly on, supporters will be hoping the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy – who’ve so far been non-existent this year – can recapture their form of last campaign.
If they don’t, they could well be a part of the biggest side in Premier League history to go down.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing