Leicester City find themselves in an intriguing position in the table. While nobody expected them to repeat their truly remarkable achievement of last season, we certainly didn’t expect them to be sitting just two points clear of the relegation zone after 11 games this time out.
And a number of punters are looking to cash in on the Foxes’ poor start to this campaign, by backing them to become the first side in Premier League history to face relegation immediately after winning the title.
Following last weekend’s defeat to West Bromwich Albion, odds of them doing exactly that have fallen from 40/1 to 25s. And while it still seems an unrealistic outcome come next May, that’s still quite a significant drop in the space of a weekend.
It’s clear where the emphasis is going this season though, with the Foxes looking like a completely different outfit in the Champions League – having all-but guaranteed themselves a place in the knockout stages.
But they are struggling to get going in the top-flight, and even their key players from last campaign can’t do anything about it. In fact, between them, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have found the net on just three occasions – while they’d already scored 18 goals this time last year.
The international break may have come at the perfect time for Leicester, who’ve picked up just five points from their last six league games. Hardly the kind of return you’d expect from the reigning champions of England.
But, in their defence, they weren’t exactly handed the most generous of fixture lists. They’ve already faced Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur away from home, conceding a staggering 12 goals in those four games combined.
But that means fans can expect a much easier (on paper) second-half of the season, and despite losing at the King Power Stadium to the Baggies on Sunday, they’ve got a decent run of fixtures to look forward to when they return from international duty.
Watford, Middlesbrough and Sunderland are the next three games for Claudio Ranieri’s men, and fans will be expecting a return of at least seven points from those matches.
Achieve that, and we could be looking at a very different table come December, with Leicester potentially in the top-half for the first time since August.
Despite Leicester’s relegation odds being almost halved, they’re still more likely to finish in the top 10, according to our traders, who have them priced at 1/2 to do just that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing