Another chilled dose of reality awaits Leicester against Barcelona
Like the D-lister whose breakthrough role finally gets them into that Hollywood after-party at George Clooney’s pad, Leicester looked star struck as Paris St-Germain walked rings around them in the International Champions Cup.
That 4-0 defeat gave the Premier League champions a little (tangy) taster of what life among Europe’s elite might be like next season.
Despite their phenomenal brand of togetherness facilitating one of the greatest fairytales in sporting history last season, the Foxes seemed powerless to prevent Unai Emery’s new side continuing their excellent form in this glitzy pre-season tournament.
Losing to a team that trounced European champions Real Madrid and Inter Milan 3-1 beforehand puts the defeat into context, while the rustiness and personnel changes of preseason, are also mitigating factors for Claudio Ranieri’s men.
The slightly foreboding news for the Midlands club, who will wish to prevent increased levels of demoralisation ahead of their Community Shield date with Manchester United, is that Barcelona are their next opponents.
While Leicester spent an entire season defying odds in 2015/16, it feels strangely improbable that they will bounce back spectacularly enough (especially without N’Golo Kante’s midfield heroics to call upon now) to beat the Catalans at 10/1.
Luis Enrique’s La Liga champs are 1/4 shots to follow up their initial 3-1 ICC victory over Celtic with another three points against the Foxes and it’s difficult to make a case against it.
With superstar pairing Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both making starts against the Hoops in Dublin and expected to play significant parts in Stockholm, Ranieri’s mob will be up against it, even though the third side of the world’s most feared attacking triangle, Neymar, will be missing.
Some shambolic defending to allow Leigh Griffiths a consolation strike did at least uphold the theory that, for their unparalleled attacking menace, Barca are still vulnerable.
A win for the Spaniards in which the Foxes at least find the target, is a 7/4 chance with us.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.