10th February 2015 – Leicester City are 20th in the table, five points off of safety.
6th February 2016 – Leicester City are 1st in the table, five points clear at the top.
At the start of the season, Leicester were 3000/1 to win the title. Right now, they’re the 2/1 favourites. Four punters have everything crossed.
crazypunter threw £2.73 on Nigel Pearson’s side last May at 1000/1 for the 2016 season. Last May, they were 17th, and Jamie Vardy was still chatting excrement. And this lad probably had his phone nicked by a mate.
- After they eased past Sunderland on the opening day, a Leicester fan parted with a tenner at 3000/1. Even though it was only Sunderland, they believed!
- After that Leicester’s odds dropped to 2500/1 and at half time in the second week of the season, one UK punter put £20 on them to become champions.
- In early December they were shortened down to 33/1. A cool £1,000 was placed by a punter on Ranieri’s side at those odds. The punter could afford 4 Vardy’s at that price.
Perhaps Paul the Octopus mated with a human to produce those four heroes. Pundits and punters alike have waited for the Leicester balloon to pop. Vardy was banging anything and everything into the net.
But then they went four games without a win, and we all thought that was that. The ‘big guns’ would flex their muscles, and poor old Leicester would fade.
They haven’t. They defied everyone by demolishing Man City in their own backyard. Claudio Ranieri (who is surely a lock for Manager of the Year ) has urged his fans to ”keep dreaming” while setting his players points targets after a certain amount of games. He’s told them to get to 79 this season. Usually, a team would need 87 to win the title.
But this season is different. It’s statistically the poorest since the turn of the century. City and Arsenal are (at time of writing with current points per game average) on course for 76 points. Ranieri knows what he’s doing, and he knows all about history.
Only twice in the last 15 seasons has the team leading at this stage failed to win the title (Arsenal in 2013/14 and Manchester United in 2001-02). The lowest a side that led has ever finished is 4th (unsurprisingly, it was Arsenal, who celebrated that particular trophy again). Obviously Leicester’s odds are short to get top four, seeing as four more victories would do it.
And there’s one huge advantage for the Foxes. Leicester can put 100% focus on the title, while their challengers have other tournaments.
- Man City have a Capital One Cup Final, FA Cup fixture and an easy looking Champions League tie against Dynamo Kiev.
- Arsenal play Man United, Barcelona (twice) and Spurs in the space of a month.
- Spurs themselves are still in the domestic cup and Europa League.
Next week, they go to Arsenal, while City host Spurs. If Leicester can avoid another loss against the Gunners, we may well see the biggest shock in Premier League history, and four Paddy Power customers will have well and truly spanked us.