What people all over the world have been writing about for the past 6 months is close to happening. With just 5 games to go, Leicester City sit at the top of the Premier League with 7 points over 2nd place, occupied by Tottenham Hotspur.
The rest of the teams had rather disappointing seasons and can only hope for a top 4 finish which will take them into the Champion’s League, while Liverpool and Chelsea are far from these places. This being said, is the title race effectively over.
First off, we must consider the things that make Leicester favorites at the moment:
The 7 point lead
Considering their great form so far, it’s hard to think that they can let such an advantage slip. 9 points are enough to guarantee them the Premier League title, meaning they just need 3 wins from the last 5 games, or 2 wins and 3 draws. These calculations are valid for the case in which Tottenham doesn’t drop a single point, which is highly unlikely.
Their recent form is splendid : they concede few goals, play very consistent and pragmatic football and always win 1-0 or 2-0. This form should keep their hopes burning till the last minute.
If they were to fail and come 2nd, nobody could blame them after their incredible season. Their story is already famous in the entire footballing world.
In-form Vardy and Mahrez
After a couple of less-than ideal performances, the two are back in great form, with Vardy scoring a brace in the last game away at Sunderland. Their return to form couldn’t have come at a better time.
Lack of experienced opposition
Leicester’s main threat are Tottenham, a side that is used to pushing for Champion’s League spots, but wasn’t involved in a title race in quite some time.
But, there are a few reasons why Leicester still need to be careful, to say the least:
Lack of experience
The squad lacks trophy-hunting experience, which if often a big game-changer in times like these. The fact that they are so close to their objective might hinder their chances, Ranieri not being the kind of coach who deals with this situation every season either.
Their main contenders have easier fixtures in these last games, including a trip to Newcastle which will probably be relegated by then. Leicester City FC have some very hard games with Everton, Man United and Chelsea.
This might be their biggest enemy. It’s probably the first time during the entire season when Leicester actually realized they’re title favorites, and this could cause them a whole lot of pain.
We are very close to ending one of the most beautiful stories in the history of the Premier League. The history of Ranieri, Vardy, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kante and the others is superb, regardless of the ending, and will inspire generations to come.
Nobody will forget how Leicester City went from being 20th a year ago to high-flying title challengers. This story has just a few pages left – stay tuned for the ending!