Will the Foxes be on the hunt of breaking into ‘Top 6’ this season?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to visit Merseyside and preview… Everton.
MANAGER: Brendan Rodgers
CAPTAIN: Wes Morgan
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 250-1 (via Oddschecker)
Leicester’s comedown from their (still) unfathomable Premier League title triumph has seen them settle into a relatively mellow slump – but could that all change in 2019/20?
Just like Everton in the previous part of this preview series, Leicester City are looking to break into the ‘Top 6’ this coming season.
With the Premier League arguably split into two leagues, The Foxes are looking to become an established that challenges for European football every year alongside the elite clubs in England.
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 14th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 1st (Premier League)
2016-17 – 12th (Premier League)
2017-18 – 9th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 9th (Premier League)
Premier League – 9th
FA Cup – Third Round
Carabao Cup – Quarter-Finals
Top Scorer – League: Jamie Vardy (18), All: Jamie Vardy (18)
James Justin (Luton – £6m)
Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United – £30m)
Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco – £40m)
Shinji Okazaki (Málaga – Free Transfer)
Danny Simpson (Released)
GK – Schmeichel, Ward, Jakupović
DF – Chilwell, Söyüncü, Morgan, Evans, Pereira, Maguire, Benković, Amartey, Fuchs, Elder, Justin
MD – Maddison, Albrighton, Barnes, James, Silva, Mendy, Ndidi, Kapustka, King, Choudhury, Tielemans
FW – Gray, Iheanacho, Vardy, Diabaté, Ghezzal, Pérez, Slimani
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – YOURI TIELEMANS
Simply put, Leicester’s record signing could be one of the biggest bargains this summer.
After initially joining the club on loan from Monaco back in January, it took the first-half of his debut against Tottenham Hotspur to see that Leicester made a shrewd signing in the Belgian international midfielder.
By the end of the campaign, Tielemans had become pretty much indispensable to Brendan Rodgers. Expect big things from the 22-year-old this season.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 114
Won – 26
Drawn – 32
Lost – 56
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
Leicester City has been able to pull off the odd victory over Chelsea here and there in recent memory, including last season’s 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. And the squad that they have at their disposal, Brendan Rodgers side could possibly give the Blues a scare this season.
But with only four victories against Chelsea this century, something tells me that it’ll be a case of history repeating.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Leicester have thrown big money at reinforcements this summer and will hope to edge out the competition in the ‘best of the rest’ category (which includes Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United, etc).
At their strongest, they boast an impressive-looking spine – Kasper Schmeichel in goal, Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans in central defence, the splendid Wilfred Ndidi anchoring the midfield, Maddison pulling strings and Vardy skinning defences. Around the edges may flit spry and nifty youngsters. Together they could form an attractive and formidable unit.
As for breaking into the ‘Top 6’… Leicester is the team that has the best chance to do so if it happens. But I think the Foxes will come up just short at the end of the season.
Predicted position: 7th
Come back for part 10 tomorrow as go back to Merseyside and take a look at one of ‘Top 6’ rivals in Liverpool.