Leicester City: The Premier League Sleeping Giants
Leicester City, the Premier League’s sleeping giants, sit in first place midway through the halfway point of the season.
The Foxes‘ 2-0 win over Southampton last Saturday spoiled the first-versus-second narrative ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United. Three days later, Leicester sent out a statement of intent to the rest of the league by defeating Chelsea 2-0 at home.
Manchester City and Liverpool remain heavy favorites in the eyes of many, but the Foxes seem happy to fly under the radar. Here are three players (not named Jamie Vardy) that have helped Leicester City claim the top spot of the Premier League, for the time being.
James Maddison is the man of the hour for Leicester City. Following the 2-0 defeat over Chelsea, Maddison gave an eye-catching post-match interview that describes just how much he’s loving life under Brendan Rodgers. The Englishman mentioned how he’s worked hard to improve his attacking output, with the late-box run he made to score against Chelsea serving as evidence. The Foxes may have a tendency to over-rely on Jamie Vardy, but Maddison is the focal point in the Leicester midfield, just like his English counterparts Mason Mount for Chelsea and Jack Grealish for Aston Villa.
The signing of the Premier League season, Fofana has been a revelation for Leicester City. At the tender age of 20, Fofana reads the game like an experienced defender and plays his game with a fearless, youthful exuberance. Since his debut, Leicester have kept six clean sheets from 15 games, with Fofana playing the entire ninety minutes on thirteen occasions. Although the Foxes have a habit of selling their best players, their recruitment process is very solid. Leicester City spent a reported €40 million for the Frenchman back in October. At the moment, the fee looks like money well spent.
Harvey Barnes has improved a lot this year. Whereas last season he looked flashy, yet raw, Barnes has added more goals to his game in 2020/21. The Englishman can hurt opponents through his direct, pacey style of play, as he is enjoying a fruitful spell in the Leicester City starting lineup. Barnes’ defensive efforts against Chelsea also saw him receive plaudits by NBC Sports analyst Robbie Mustoe. Barnes is Leicester’s joint-second top scorer alongside James Maddison, having already equaled his six-goal tally of last season. The lad is a talent.
Leicester City are catching the eye of many fans this season by playing free-flowing and disciplined football. Stand-out results include a 5-2 tactical masterpiece against Manchester City, a 4-1 victory over Leeds at Elland Road, and yesterday’s no-nonsense win over Chelsea. Will the Foxes repeat their famous 2016 title triumph? Or will they fall at the final hurdle?
For the time being, the impossible dream looks possible.