November 25, 2015

Do you believe in Leicester?

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

No, that’s not a misprint you see at the top of the Premier League table; Leicester City is really on top of the heap and it’s late November.

Shocking, I know.

With 28 points, the Foxes are one ahead of Manchester United, setting up a clash for the top of the table next weekend.

But are the Foxes for real? Well, there’s a couple of ways to look at them.

First and foremost, they’re not just first in the league for points, they’ve also scored the most goals in the league with 28, one more than ManchesterCity.

They’ve also lost just one game this season, tied for least defeats with Tottenham.

But, of the eight teams that have allowed 20+ goals this season, six of them hold the bottom six spots in a table. Leicester City is also yet to play against United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool this season – some pretty tough games that will likely knock them down the standings a bit.

The Foxes’ amazing run remembers us of Southampton last year, which was holding on to second place into December before fading down the stretch. Leicester feels like it will face a similar fate when the going gets tough.

It really depends on how much the Tinkerman, manager Claudio Ranieri can focus on defending. It’s very clear that this team can score, with Jamie Vardy tying Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for most consecutive games a goal this week. Riyad Mahrez has been outstanding as well in attack and should have his share of suitors come January.

And that brings us to another problem: What will this team do in the transfer window. Vardy and Mahrez will likely be in the sights of bigger clubs and Leicester may not be able to turn down the big bucks. And considering its likely best-case scenario is fighting for a Europa League spot, it might be better to cash in.

But those decisions are more than a month away. Let’s just sit back and enjoy this incredible run while we can.


We’ve been waiting for a game like this from Ross Barkley.

The Everton midfielder has long been touted as one of the future leaders of England, a player to take over the midfield mantle from Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

After watching him look dominant against Aston Villa, scoring two goals and picking up an assist, we saw why.

Of course, it was against a team that looks relegation-bound, but it’s always nice to see a player with this kind of promise shine.

And if he and Romelu Lukaku can stay on this kind of form, the Toffees might just make a run at a Champions League spot – or at least return to their familiar Europa League place.


With most of the headlines touting how poorly Manchester United is playing, you’d never guess they’re actually in second place. Imagine where they’d be if they were playing well … Sunderland picked up their first road win of the season, the last EPL club to do so. Maybe Big Sam is starting to turn the Black Cats around, but they are still in 18th … That’s three clean sheets in a row from Stoke and five in six games. It looks like their defence is really starting to come together … Arsenal is getting seriously banged up, now losing Francis Coquelin for two months after their loss to West Brom. Sure, they cruised in Champions League on Tuesday, but how will the Gunners’ depth hold up when the fixtures get tighter around Christmas? … That’s two more goals from Harry Kane, giving him seven in the past four games. So, do you think he’s found his form from last season? It’s not like he was a quick starter then, either.


Gegenpress is taking the Premier League by storm.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool dominated ManchesterCity using his high-pressure strategy on Saturday, something that we didn’t think was possible.

The Sky Blues were befuddled about how to beat the press and were hounded into many mistakes in the Reds’ big 4-1 win.

As soon as a City player was on the ball, a Red was right in his face and when that happened, it seemed like this team of star players had no idea of how to deal with it.

Even with Sergio Aguero back in the lineup, City’s attack always felt toothless. You would think that a supposed world-class manager like Manuel Pellegrini would have some sort of counter to the gegenpress, as Klopp’s style was no secret heading into the game.

City should be able to bounce back from this, but certainly exposed a good way to beat them.

As for the Reds, Klopp looks like he has the players to run his system and should only add more in January. Liverpool is a team on the rise and one that should make some noise in 2016.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

Leave a Reply