History suggests it will take an almost unprecedentedly harrowing post-Christmas capitulation to stop Leicester from finishing in the Premier League top four this season.
The Foxes are 7/10 to do so, having been available at 7/4 prior to their defeat of Everton at Goodison Park last weekend.
If such a reaction looks on the sensitive side, the fact that it ensured they would be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day justifies the odds-compilers’ respect.
Just once in the history of the Premier League have the side to head the standings on December 25 failed to finish within the first four in the league at the end of term.
That was Aston Villa, who somehow managed to tumble all the way to sixth in the final reckoning, having lead the division at Christmas in 1998.
Very few other teams to occupy the driving seat on Jesus’ birthday even fell beyond third, with Liverpool in 1996 and Newcastle in 2001 the sole sides to do so.
Each of the remaining 20 Christmas Day leaders of the Premier League era finished third or better, with 11 of those going on to win the title.
Leicester are 11/1 third-favourites to do just that, though they would be advised to heed the cautionary tale of Newcastle’s 1995/96 uber choke before getting carried away.
Despite having led the Premier League by ten points on Christmas Day and even extending their cushion to 12 points in January, they were reeled in by Manchester United, eventually finishing four points behind the Red Devils in second.
Leicester head to Merseyside for the second weekend in succession on Boxing Day and they’re 14/5 to emulate their victory over Everton with another three points at the expense of Anfield hosts Liverpool.
Claudio Ranieri’s men will be coursing with confidence having netted three times in each of their last four away fixtures, while the Reds are winless in four, having failed to find the net in three of those outings.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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