After 15 rounds played in Premier League Leicester City miraculously tops the table. Going into the hardest part of the schedule, Leicester City led by Italian Claudio Ranieri will see if their magic continues past upcoming holiday season.
Parallel with fighting to stay on top of Premier League and not fall back down the standings, toward the bottom, where all of the predictions said that they belong, manager Claudio Ranieri must fight off huge offers from big European clubs for his attacking duo who are backbone of this squad.
After 15 matches played, Leicester holds first place with 32 points and along with Tottenham Hotspur they have lost only one game this season, in fact Leicester has never been lower than sixth since the start of the campaign. With 23 rounds remaining, there is a lot of football to be played, of course, but for a side marked by many to fight for a relegation, Leicester is the most surprising Premier League team in recent years.
Leicester City used the troubles of all of the big clubs from the start of the season to jump on top. Manchester City is still too inconsistent, Chelsea is in shocking crisis as they sinking in relegation battle, Manchester United has forgotten how to attack and score goals under Louis Van Gaal, Arsenal is typically, decimated by a number of injuries, Liverpool is going through adaptation period with new manager while Tottenham’s side looks to young and unbalanced.
Real strength of this team will be seen in the next month as Leicester faces Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City to finish out the 2015. Foxes are led by two superstars in the making, striker Jamie Vardy and winger Riyad Mahrez. 29-year-old Vardy has scored in 11 straight games to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record and leads the league with 14 goals. He is now trailed by biggest clubs in England and the fact that just four years ago he played for Fleetwood Town in the fifth division of English football makes his rise from anonymity even more incredible. Vardy missed the chance to score in his 12th consecutive game to break 83-year-old First division record but he assisted to Mahrez for his hat trick against Swansea and 10th goal of the season. That was the true example of team spirit this squad has.
Claudio Ranieri is sticking with his goal of winning 40 points and achieving survival in the Premier League and for now he is not planning to change the goals although they already have 32 points. Leicester City could become first side ever to hold first place in Premier League on Christmas Day after sitting in the last spot twelve months earlier. Where is the ceiling for this team – is it a top half finish, Europa League qualification, Champions League spot, Premier League champions? Talking about such possibilities before the season seemed absurd. We’ll see how they’ll fare against the biggest rivals going into the New Year.