Why it is no surprise Leicester misfits will pip Spurs to title

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Among the many, widely-touted cliche’s offered during a football season, there is one that appears to be at complete odds with the current state of the Premier League.

As the saying goes, it takes previous title-winning experience for a squad to be able to hold their nerve down the home stretch. So the fact that two relative virgins are tussling it out to pop their cherries in the division shows just how unpredictable the 2015/16 title race has been.

Leicester and Tottenham are fighting tooth and nail to become the first club outside the “big five” since Blackburn Rovers to claim the trophy.

However, with only one previous Premier League winner in either squad, the old adage that previous silverware-grabbing nous is a must-have in order to succeed looks to have been thrown out the window. Or has it?

An examination of both squads shows that the Foxes are actually chock full of league winners. They just haven’t caught the attention by doing it in elite leagues.

Considering the club has largely kept their playing squad together in rising from League One in 2009 to be within touching distance of a top-flight title in eight seasons, that fact is hardly surprising.

It does go some way to explain how Claudio Ranieri’s men have managed to remain level headed throughout their fairytale campaign though, while many onlookers expected a collapse.

In total, there are 24 league-winners medals in the Leicester squad, spread across 14 of the 24-man squad listed on Wikipedia.

Unbelievably, reserve centre-back Marcin Wasilewski is the most decorated, having won three Belgian league titles with Anderlecht before claiming the Championship crown with the Foxes two seasons ago.

The majority of the current roster have that second-tier title on their CV, with Leonardo Ulloa and Gokhan Inler the only other members of the side to win titles outside of England. Robert Huth is only player to have previously lifted the Premier League.

Comparatively, Spurs are novices when it comes to winning league titles. Again, that is to be expected as they have the youngest average age in the top flight.

Nevertheless, their collection of 10 league medals pales in the shadows of Leicester’s previous achievements.

Toby Alderweireld is the undisputed league-winning master among their squad, having collected the Eredivisie three times with Ajax and La Liga once with Atletico Madrid.

Other former Ajax stars, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen, also won multiple Dutch crowns before leaving Amsterdam, while Mousa Dembele nabbed it with AZ Alkmaar.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.