Premier League Preview: Leicester F.C.

Eric Toth

2015/16 Finish: 1

What a year for Leicester City! In his first year, Claudio Ranieri took the club from battling relegation to winning the Premier League, a feat that no one would have thought was possible. The Italian managed to organize his side into a compact, counter-attacking outfit with the likes of Mahrez and Vardy scoring for fun. Although not on the scoresheet as often, N’Golo Kante was integral to Leicester’s success last season, chasing every ball, closing down passing lanes and transitioning the team from defense to attack in an instant.

Transfers In: Zieler (GK), Hernandez (CB), Rubio (FW), Mendy (CM), Musa (FW), Kapustka (LW).

Leicester has done great business following the title-winning campaign, adding depth and competition in key areas. Zieler offers another option in net with a Champions’ League season on the horizon. Ahmed Musa has shown that he’s ready to hit the ground running after scoring a brace in the second half against Barcelona in Leicester’s pre-season tour. We’ve been impressed with Musa going back to the 2014 World Cup when he featured for Nigeria, he has always looked lively and threatening. Kapustka joins the club after an impressive showing with the Polish Nation Team at the Euros this summer.

Transfers Out: Sold: Kramaric (FW), Kante (CDM), Dodoo (RM). Loaned: Cain (CM), Choudhury (CM). Released: Schwarzer (GK), Konchesky (CB), Watson (CM), Hammond (CM), Panayiotou (FW)

The biggest question mark surrounding Leicester City this upcoming season is how they’ll fair after the loss of their engine, N’Golo Kante. The French midfielder left the Foxes for Chelsea after his stock rose exponentially. Kante was undoubtedly the driving force in Leicester’s title run and with a congested fixture list, his replacement will need to hit the ground running. Other than the loss of Kante, Leicester have done well to hold on to their key players thus far.

Key Player(s): Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez played 37 matches in the league for Leicester last season and managed an impressive 17 goals and 11 assists. The Algerian winger thrived in the counter-attacking style under Ranieri. In Mahrez, Leicester have a true, proven match-winner. Mahrez can make something from nothing, as he has shown countless times. With the wide-man in the side, it’s difficult to count Leicester out.

Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 9

Despite all the praise for how Leicester have handled their business, the loss of N’Golo Kante may prove too much to overcome for Leicester this season. The departure of the Frenchman coupled with the introduction of a more congested fixture list will be a difficult task for the club. For these reasons, we have the Premier League winners coming in at 9th this coming season.

Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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