Since winning the Premier League in the 2015/16 season, Leicester City have never finished higher than ninth. So much do they like that position, they have filled it in each of the past two seasons. After a traumatic 2018/19 season, they have been busy in the transfer market this summer. Can they get back in to the top six?

2018/19 Season

Leicester had a tough season with the death of their owner. That hasn’t destabilized the club though and they ended the season in ninth place. They earned 52 points which was their highest total since winning the league. However, they still ended up losing more games than they won and ended the season 14 points behind the top six. Brendan Rodgers has been a strong replacement for Claude Puel and a better performance is expected in 2019/20. They are 4/1 (5.0) at Ladbrokes to finish in the top six.

Transfer Activity

Leicester have been busy recruting new players this season. Already signed has been Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United for £30m. He’s been Newcastle’s top league scorer for the past two seasons. Another £40m has been spent on turning the loan deal of Monaco’s Youri Tielemans into a permanent deal. 21-year-old James Justin has been signed from Luton Town but another defender looks on his way out of the club. Harry Maguire looks to be on his way to Manchester United when a fee can be agreed. The word is that he’ll be replaced by Brighton’s Lewis Dunk.

Problem Areas

16 league defeats last season made it 31 lost in the past two. That is a figure that has to be reduced this season if they want to return to the top six. They did increase the number of league wins though.

Another striker who can score at least ten league goals was a crucial need. After Jamie Vardy’s 18 last season, the next highest was seven from James Maddison. Hopefully the signing of Perez will improve this situation. Vardy is 20/1 (21.0) at Bet365 to be the Premier League’s top goalscorer in 2019/20.

Home form has to be improved this season. Eight home league games were lost last season and only six teams lost more.

Early Season Fixtures

11 August: Wolverhampton Wanderers (home)

18 August: Chelsea (away)

24 August: Sheffield United (away)

31 August: Bournemouth (home)

14 September: Manchester United (away)

The two home fixtures both look capable of providing Leicester City with wins. With Wolverhampton Wanderers playing Europa League qualifying ties, this looks the right time to play them. You can get odds of 13/10 (2.3) at Betfair on Leicester winning their first league game of the season. Bournemouth had some total nightmares on their travels last season, another win looks likely for the Foxes.

Their away games aren’t quite so easy. They have to play two of last season’s top six but not bad fixtures to get out of the way early on. City won’t be scared of going to Stamford Bridge. They were the only team to go there for a league game and come back with three points.

Again, with Chelsea in transition, it might be a good time to play them. Sheffield United are one of the three newly promoted teams, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of start they make. As for the away game at Old Trafford, the big question is who will Harry Maguire be playing for? Leicester lost there last season in the opening game of the season, another tough game looks likely this time around.

The next three games after the United match see Leicester hosting Tottenham and Newcastle United before going to Liverpool. It’s touch and go whether City can make a good start to the season.

Prediction

Leicester have made some big signings so far this summer. They look likely to lose Harry Maguire but Lewis Dunk would be a good replacement. They need to be scoring more goals and losing less games. 16 was far too many last season. They have a difficult start to the season so may end up playing catch-up on the top six. City should do better than ninth but a top six finish looks unlikely. SkyBet will give you 1/7 (1.14) on Leicester not finishing in the top six. A wager on the ‘without the Big 6’ market is worth a bet, Leicester are 3/1 (4.0) with BetVictor.

Published by Steve Ashfield

Steve is a self-employed freelance writer with years of experience writing about everything from sport to politics. He loves his statistics and quotes them at every opportunity.

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